October is NDEAM
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and all across the nation agencies like ours have been celebrating the many and varied contributions people with disabilities bring to the workplace. To kick off the month, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation, here, urging Americans to embrace the talents and skills individuals with disabilities bring, and to promote the right to equal employment opportunity. All of this is an effort to create more inclusive workplaces and open the eyes of employers to the abilities of this incredible group who are unemployed at a rate that is twice that of people without disabilities.

Ensuring that individuals with developmental disabilities secure and maintain meaningful, competitive employment is an important part of what we do at People Inc. Not only do we work with businesses in Western New York and Rochester to employ individuals, we also create jobs around their talents and interests.

“Until employer perceptions change, finding competitive employment opportunities will continue to be a challenge,” said People Inc.’s Director of Vocational Services James Scutt. “That’s why People Inc. has taken the approach that if we cannot find the jobs, we create them so that people who are ready and willing to work, can.”

To learn more about how you can partner with us to employ people with disabilities, contact our Vocational Services Department at 716.817.5750.
Quality Bindery to be Featured at TEDxBuffalo
Kathie Hartmans, the president of Quality Bindery Services Inc., a post-press finishing bindery located in Buffalo, has a wonderful story to tell. Shortly after starting her business 22 years ago, she was offered an opportunity to try something new: hire two people with developmental disabilities on a trial basis to see if it would be a good fit for her, her business and for the individuals. The trial was a great success! Today, the proud business owner will tell you that she cannot imagine her workplace without them.

Kathie’s heartfelt and inspiring story will be part of TEDxBuffalo on October 22 at Babeville’s Asbury Hall. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick, one of TEDxBuffalo’s featured speakers, will include a video testimonial from Kathie in her talk about employing individuals with disabilities.

TEDxBuffalo is closed to the general public. Nearly 400 attendees were selected through an application process. But her talk, including Kathie’s emotional story, will be videotaped and posted online sometime after the event. Make sure to look for it on the TEDxBuffalo website.
Theresa Woody and Stephen Wallace are great contributors. “I couldn’t imagine Quality Bindery without them,” said President and CEO Kathie Hartmans.
Three Local Businesses Honored for Their Commitment to Workforce Diversity
More than 150 businesses in Western New York partner with our Vocational Services Department to employ individuals we serve. We have placements at over 225 business locations throughout our footprint. To recognize these wonderful businesses for their dedication to creating an inclusive workforce, our Vocational Services team recently nominated three of them for recognition awards.
“I love everything about working at Walgreens,” said Nick Feeterman
Walgreens on Young Street in Tonawanda will be recognized at the Western New York Employment Consortium’s NDEAM Business Recognition Awards on October 22 at Grapevine Banquets in Depew. This location is being recognized for their understanding of the importance of meaningful work for individuals with disabilities and for their support of Nick Feeterman, who receives services from People Inc. Walgreens embraces Nick as an equal and important part of their team, seeing him for his abilities rather than disability.
“I am proud to work at a place that cares about people with disabilities,” said Jennifer Voss.
Walgreens in Grand Island will also be recognized at the Western New York Employment Consortium’s NDEAM Business Recognition Awards on October 22 at Grapevine Banquets in Depew. This Walgreens is being recognized for their dedication and support to Jennifer Voss who receives services from People Inc. Although Jennifer had no former work experience before joining Walgreens, the team has been extremely supportive and helpful. They care about Jennifer both personally and professionally.
Martinnias Hardy (center) with Joe and Kevin, Scotch ‘N Sirloin co-owners.
Scotch 'N Sirloin was chosen as the first runner-up for the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities’ Works for Me recognition award and will be recognized on October 22 at the Huxley Theater in Albany. Scotch 'N Sirloin was nominated for their caring and understanding of Martinnias Hardy, an individual who receives services through People Inc. Scotch 'N Sirloin treats Martinnias as a part of their family, and were big supporters of his move to independent living.
“My job is awesome!”
said Jamie Shaw
Real People, Real Jobs
Meet Jamie: An Employment Success Story
Jamie Shaw, a 28 year old Wheatfield native, has enjoyed working at the Roman Café Restaurant in North Tonawanda for more than four years. Jamie initially obtained the job through People Inc.’s Supported Employment program, which allows individuals with disabilities the opportunity to gain work experience in a community-based setting. When she first started, Jamie was accompanied by a job coach, but she has since developed the skills necessary to work as an independent employee, washing dishes and occasionally cleaning for the Italian eatery.

“I love my job here,” said Jamie, and it’s clear that her coworkers are just as grateful to have her. Restaurant Manager, Linda Fonzi, admitted that, at first, she was a little hesitant about hiring an individual with developmental disabilities, but it didn’t take long for her to realize how much the job meant to Jamie and how integral she was to the restaurant’s operation. “Some days, I can’t do it without her.”
October 2015
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Program Creates Jobs for Workers with Disabilities
Broadening opportunities for the individuals we support to find and maintain competitive employment is an important area of focus for the People Inc. team. Carpet Cleaning Done Right, a program we began piloting earlier this year, employs eight individuals and provides carpet cleaning services for commercial, business, government and residential locations. The team is sharply focused on consistently delivering for their customers and, from the reviews they are getting, looks like things are going very well.
“The crew was very kind and courteous and did an absolutely fantastic job on our rugs. Before they left, they had me check the carpets, which were very clean. For hours after they left, the whole house smelled good.”

“The service provided was professional and thorough.”

Carpet Cleaning Done Right is fully ensured and provides free estimates. On-site supervision is provided to ensure the job is done to the customer’s satisfaction. To learn more, call 716-817-5724.
Business Leader Discovers the Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities
When it comes to hiring people with disabilities, the learning goes both ways

People Inc.’s Vehicle Detailing program recently teamed up with We Care, a health and human service transportation system in Western New York, to provide interior and exterior vehicle detailing services for the company’s fleet of vans. Four days a week, several individuals, along with a job coach, work onsite at We Care, shoulder to shoulder with the We Care team in a truly integrated work environment. Now, eight weeks later, SVP of Transportation Paul Snyder IV, shared a beautiful and sentimental note with our staff about how things are going:

“I wanted to let you know I am very excited and proud about the work we’re jointly doing on launching the People Inc. Fleet detailing program at We Care. The participants who have come over to work have been incredible and are a joy to have onsite. They are doing great work on our vehicles and I get the pleasure to see them every day. I am happy to report they are kind and friendly to my staff and me. I hope our team has been as helpful and beneficial to their growth and development as I believe they have been to ours. It’s rare in business today we can work on something that not only is a sound business venture, but also an endeavor that has such a profound effect on individuals in our community. I am proud to be a part of this project and can’t wait to work on more in the future!”
Paul Snyder IV

Ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities, special needs and senior adults receive the services and care they need, click here.

Visit an Art Exhibit
Stop by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for its “Collaborations” exhibit which includes artwork by participants of our Arts Experience Program. The exhibition, on display until October 25, highlights the talents of individuals with disabilities. The artwork was created by artists who participate in programs of four Western New York human services agencies, as well as artists who participated in the Albright-Knox’s Access AK: Creative Connection program.

Apply for a Job
Want to help individuals with developmental disabilities become more independent? Lean more about career opportunities at our Niagara Falls Open Interview Day on Wednesday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Antonio’s Banquet Hall, 7708 Niagara Falls Blvd, Niagara Falls. Can’t attend? Apply online.