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Art By: Chris Muzzio

Arc of Westchester's 29th Annual Employer Recognition Breakfast

Arc of Westchester’s 29th Annual Employer Recognition Breakfast Honored Community Leaders, Local Businesses

Laurence P. Gottlieb, President/CEO, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation was Keynote Speaker and Recipient of the 2017 Share of Voice Award

HAWTHORNE, N.Y., April 27, 2017 – Arc of Westchester held its 29th Annual Employer Recognition Breakfast on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 from 8:00 to 10:00 am at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown. The event celebrated the 250 partnerships between Arc of Westchester and public and private businesses in the community. Over 200 people, including government officials and community leaders, attended the event and recognized businesses throughout the county who hire individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

“We partner with a wide variety of businesses – some are large, national corporations with locations throughout the country, while are others are smaller, family-run businesses,” says Richard P. Swierat, executive director of Arc of Westchester. “We also provide many government agencies with both full and part-time employees. Arc of Westchester works with each business to find the right employee that will fill their staffing needs. With a person-centered approach, we create solutions that work for everyone.”

This year’s event welcomed Laurence P. Gottlieb, President/CEO, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation as the keynote speaker and presented him with the 2017 Share of Voice Award. In his opening remarks Gottlieb said “We’re all here this morning celebrating at THE best business breakfast in Westchester…why? Because this is an organization that always turns away from wasteful acrimony and turns towards sustainable solutions.”  Gottlieb is a long-time friend and Arc of Westchester advocate in the business community. He encourages businesses to hire people with developmental disabilities and make them part of the workforce.

Gottlieb also reminded business leaders “All of us are facing one of the greatest economic challenges of our time… remaining relevant. We are all struggling to figure out how to find our place within this changing workforce landscape.”

Arc of Westchester debuted their latest video “Making Sense for Business” that highlights the benefits of employing individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Click here to view video

Nine awards were presented to individuals and businesses who have championed Arc of Westchester’s career and employment services.

ABB Optical in Hawthorne was the recipient of this year’s New Business Partnership Award. They have collaborated with Arc of Westchester offering opportunities for individuals to learn new job skills and become part of their large workforce. Vince Monaghan, Vice President of Lab Operations quoted the late Dr. Martin Luther King saying “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity.”

Other award recipients were:

  • Share of Voice Award: Laurence P. Gottlieb, President/CEO, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation
  • Civic Partnership Award: The Village of Mount Kisco
  • Distinguished Partner Award: Aramark, Chappaqua
  • New Business Partnership Award: ABB Optical, Hawthorne
  • Bridge to Employment Award: Tekovery, Mount Vernon                                                       
  • Advocate Award: Diane Rich, Café Manager, Club Fit, Jefferson Valley
  • Continuing Partner Award: Whole Foods Market, White Plains

“At Arc of Westchester, we believe people with developmental disabilities should be respected as citizens in our community, and should have access to employment opportunities,” said Richard P. Swierat, executive director of Arc of Westchester. “As an employer, when you hire a new employee, you are providing that person with the opportunity to have a meaningful life where they can build friendships and relationships – a life full of options and opportunity. To all businesses, there is an opportunity waiting for you at Arc of Westchester. ”

One of the highlights of the breakfast was the presentation of The Anthony Cannata Memorial Employee Award. The awards were presented to two individuals who have surpassed their job expectations and are an example for all employees.

  • Brian Mehra, The Town of Cortlandt and Arc of Westchester
  • Kenneth Silbert, Croton CVS, Country Children’s Center and The Mount Kisco Country Club

Numerous local government leaders attended the breakfast.

  • The Honorable Timothy Idoni, Westchester County Clerk
  • The Honorable Kevin Plunkett, Deputy Westchester County Executive
  • Commissioner Kevin McGuire, Westchester County Department of Social Services
  • Commissioner Kathleen O’Connor, Westchester County Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Mary Jane Shimsky, Westchester County Board of Legislators
  • Marsha Gordon, President & CEO, Westchester Business Council

Pat Dowse, Chief Operating Officer, NYS Rehabilitation Association

Arc of Westchester’s employment services 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. Arc of Westchester has placed 545 people in jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities. Since last year we have added 35 new Westchester County business partners and maintain a 72% employment rate versus 20% nationwide.

 

About Arc of Westchester

Arc of Westchester is the largest organization 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. www.arcwestchester.org

 

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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. 

 

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