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Arc Honors Individuals and Businesses at Annual Breakfast

Arc of Westchester Honors Local Individuals and Business Leaders at its Annual Recognition Breakfast

Government Leaders Commend Community Businesses For Partnerships

HAWTHORNE, N.Y., April 25, 2014 – Arc of Westchester held its 26th Annual Employer Recognition Breakfast today. The event celebrated the 250 partnerships between Arc of Westchester and public and private businesses in the community.

Last year, Arc of Westchester placed a record 86 new individuals in paid community-based employment positions. This year, as current employment partners expand their programs and new employers become partners, Arc of Westchester will place even more individuals in meaningful jobs throughout Westchester County. There are currently 350 individuals employed through Arc of Westchester’s employment partner network.

“Our career and employment programs are focused on discovering mutually beneficial, long-term relationships,” says Richard P. Swierat, executive director of Arc of Westchester. “We identify and cultivate talents and make a real difference in the lives of our program participants and their families.”

Fourteen awards were presented to individuals and companies that have championed Arc of Westchester career and employment programs, including:

  • Advocate Award: Polly Peace, Country Children’s Center
  • Ambassador Award: Joseph Frank, Diana Hirt, Samantha Makris
  • Anthony Cannata Awards: Thomas Chin and Paul Morris
  • Bridge to Employment Award: Grasslands Homeless Shelter, Volunteers of America
  • Civic Partnership Awards: City of White Plains; Orange County Department of Social Services; and Kevin M. McGuire, Westchester County Commissioner of Social Services
  • Distinguished Partnership Awards: The Home Depot, Mohegan Lake and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • New Partnership Award: Publisher’s Circulation Fulfillment (PCF)
  • Share of Voice Award: Ernie Garcia, The Journal News
  • Talent Development Award: Jerry Philip, New York Collaborates for Autism
  • Visionary Award: TGI Friday’s, Yonkers

Arc of Westchester works closely with its business partners to help identify productivity gaps in their workplaces and then identifies individuals with the skills to meet those needs.

“Arc of Westchester has individuals with many skills and talents who are ready and able to work. These are people who cannot only do a job but will also contribute to a company’s culture,” explains Kevin McGuire, Westchester County Commissioner of Social Services. “Families need to be aware of the robust career options available for their loved ones with disabilities and employers should know about how partnering with Arc of Westchester can benefit their workplace dynamics and their bottom lines.”

For more than 65 years, Arc of Westchester, a non-profit social services organization, has worked with the community to create meaningful employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“Westchester County government is proud to partner with the Arc of Westchester year round to help individuals with developmental disabilities reach their full potential,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “Our schools and workplaces are stronger, because they are inclusive and diversified thanks to the Arc of Westchester and its dedicated staff.”

Arc of Westchester’s programs focus on the individual, helping each person discover their interests, develop their talents and prepare for meaningful careers. These programs begin for young people before they even leave high school.

“Our programs are full circle. We don’t just prepare people for jobs. We cultivate greatness in every single person,” said Swierat. “We make sure our program participants are integrated technically and culturally to businesses of all types and sizes. And we stay involved every step of the way.”

Arc of Westchester’s career and employment programs work. Ninety percent of young adults in Arc of Westchester's programs participate in the labor force as productive members of the community, compared to just 20 percent of young adults nationwide.

About Arc of Westchester

Arc of Westchester is the oldest and largest agency in the county serving children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Over 800 employees provide more than 2,000 individuals throughout the county with a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services designed to foster independence, productivity and participation in community life.

Our mission is to empower children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, to achieve their potential by strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests. Our vision is a world in which children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including individuals on the autism spectrum enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future.

Arc of Westchester is a chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc.


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Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as Arc of Westchester, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.