Oct-30-13 Christie Administration Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month
"I’m particularly proud this year of our Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, which placed 4,028 people with disabilities into jobs over the past year, which was 270 more placements than they made last year. I am honored today to recognize the employers who helped us to exceed our goals and I am honored to pay tribute to some of the individuals who realized their dreams of employment,” said Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths during a public ceremony conducted inside the Labor Department building.
He presented each of the honorees with a letter of commendation from New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie, who has championed programs providing employment training for people with disabilities. Each letter thanked the honoree from their contribution toward breaking down the barriers to employment that would prevent New Jersey from building a diverse, accessible, and productive workforce.
Governor Chris Christie and his Administration have been steadfast in their commitment to an Employment First policy, which ensures that residents with disabilities seamlessly take part in the state’s labor force.
The Labor Department hosted a summit last month to educate financial and banking institutions on the support and incentives available to expand their workforces with qualified employees with disabilities. Additionally, Governor Christie was joined by Commissioner Wirths last week in a groundbreaking on a $4 million, 14,000-square-foot addition to Gloucester County College’s Adult Transition Center that will directly assist students with disabilities to attend college.
Each year in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and seeks to educate a wider audience about disability employment issues. Employers and job-seekers interested in learning about the programs and services offered by the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services can visit online at:
The Division also may be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling (609) 292-5987 or (609) 292-2919 (TTY).
2013 DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH HONOREES
Mr. Kerry Walker
Mr. Walker has been a partner in a family business, a remodeling company known as Diversified Concepts, for many years. He is also a member of several committees which serve and advocate for individuals with disabilities.
Virtua was honored in 2012 by JEVS (Jewish Employment and Vocational Services) Human Services, as one of the largest social service agencies in the region for routinely hiring job candidates with disabilities and other challenges, as well as training and preparing all its employees for productive careers. JEVS and hireAbility, another organization dedicated to employment for people with disabilities, have worked with the recruiting team for Virtua over the past several years. It has been an excellent and productive relationship, because it serves the needs of the employer as well as provides clients with an opportunity to work for one of the premier employers in the area.
Mr. Matthew Goins
Mr. Goins is a veteran who spent five years in the Army National Guard. He has long term goals of pursuing some type of law enforcement work or possibly in the medical field. He is employed at Virtua as a Security Guard.
AC Linen Supply, Inc.
AC Linen is a family owned and operated commercial laundry and dry cleaning company based in Atlantic City, with additional locations in Pleasantville, N.J. and Norwich, CT. The company supports the mission of placing qualified people with disabilities into competitive employment.
Mr. Gales was hired in August at AC Linen to work in the laundry room at their Pleasantville facility.
South Jersey Industries (SJI)
SJI has a vision of being the energy company of first choice for customers, shareholders and employees. The company’s commitment to inclusion is demonstrated through welcoming and supporting employees from all backgrounds so they can achieve their full potential. SJI has recruited employees through JEVS and hireAbility by consistently informing the organizations of employment opportunities within the company.
Ms. Fauver was hired by SJI in July as a Customer Service Representative in their Folsom location.
IKEA is a Swedish company registered in the Netherlands that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture appliances,and home accessories. A partnership with IKEA and JEVS andhireAbility was initiated through a relationship with Career Success Solutions, a service for deaf and hard of hearing individuals located at Burlington Community College in Mount Holly and funded through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The two agencies support each other, linking qualified people with disabilities into competitive employment.
Mr. Netherby is a forklift operator at IKEA. He has worked at the distribution center in the Burlington County warehouse for 16 years and has seven certifications for operating different forklifts. Mr. Netherby was sent to IKEA’s Oregon distribution center to train a group of “hearing” workers on how to operate different forklifts, and because of Mr. Netherby, IKEA has organized American Sign Language classes for employees.