Employer Recognition Breakfast Leaves Attendees Feeling Inspired
very year, Arc of Westchester hosts its annual Employer Recognition Breakfast, designed to honor present and potential employers who partner with Arc of Westchester’s career and employment programs to provide employment opportunities for individuals who are developmentally disabled or have autism, and this year we celebrated our 26th event! In the late 1980s, Arc of Westchester began to create a community-based employment program for individuals and local businesses. Today, there are 350 adults working in a pharmaceutical company, law firms, county government offices, health clubs, day care centers, restaurants, movie theaters, schools, and pharmacies. There are over 250 companies in Westchester that participate in this program, and the annual breakfast celebrates their partnership with Arc of Westchester. Each year, breakfast attendees leave the morning better informed, encouraged to do more and proud to be partnering with such a wonderful organization. Business owners left the breakfast feeling energized, thinking about other ways they can work with Arc of Westchester, and potential employers were able to speak with current managers to learn what it’s like to work with Arc of Westchester’s employment program. The breakfast is so inspirational that as soon as it ended a few new employers requested to join the program. Long-standing employers were equally enthused. Before the breakfast was over, one long-time employer had already put in a request for a second employee, and another long-standing employer could not wait to ask about a partnership with one of Arc of Westchester’s most successful businesses — eDocNY.
Yes, it’s a job, but it’s also a relationship.
“This event is something I am so proud of,” beamed Maria Lagman, Arc of Westchester’s Career Supports Coordinator and one of the organizers of the annual breakfast. “This is what it’s all about; to celebrate a successful partnership with the employers and the individuals that we serve. To place an individual in the right job with the right employer, that’s what matters. You have to make sure that there is a click between the individual and the employer. Yes, it’s a job, but it’s also a relationship. And we do that. We are helping build relationships with this program.”
Arc of Westchester 2015 Employer Recognition Breakfast will be held on Friday, April 17, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. We look forward to seeing you there!
At the 2014 breakfast, we recognized two outstanding individuals who have proven that being an employee with a developmental disability is often better than being a “regular” employee.
Thomas Chin, Starbucks
Tommy personifies all the major characteristics that an employer looks for: hard work, dedication, reliability, and a positive attitude. Tommy is extremely popular among his colleagues and the store’s “regulars” who ask for him by name. On the morning of the breakfast, twelve of his colleagues attended to show their support!
Paul Morris, Oppenheimer & Co. and NY Medical College
With a room full of government officials, small and large business owners, and employees who all support Arc of Westchester’s employment program, the annual employment breakfast accomplished its goals to celebrate and educate.
Save the Date!
Anthony Cannata Award Winners
hen Joe left the military almost 40 years ago, he was not looking for a job in the social services field. But during his first interview at Arc of Westchester, Joe was introduced to a man with developmental disabilities who asked Joe if he was going to work at Arc. Then, as if to encourage Joe, the man leaned in and gave Joe a hug.
Making Good Business Sense
“I immediately thought to myself ‘that’s it,’” Joe recalls. “I was hooked, and I still enjoy my job to this day.”
Joe has spent his career helping people just like the man who gave him that first hug. As the senior job developer, Joe focuses on finding employment for small groups of adults with developmental disabilities. Many of these individuals have never worked before, and Joe helps find jobs that teach them how to contribute to society.
“I place groups of four individuals into a job so that they have a sense of community,” Joe explains. “Most of them aren’t able to work by themselves so a job coach is on site with them the entire time. The coach teaches them how to do their job and makes sure the job is done correctly. Once they can master that, we try to get them individual jobs.” Some individuals work at the Westchester County Airport, others have the important role of maintaining apartment buildings, and there are people who help assemble decorative products for local companies. In addition, Joe has also developed partnerships that provide jobs in local towns like Armonk, Bedford, and Yonkers. And, he has secured work for a group of 20 employees with Publishers Circulation Fulfillment.
IMAGINE... Page 1
How does he do it? Ask anyone who knows him and they will immediately describe his larger-than-life personality and passion for his job. Ask Joe, and he’ll tell you that he promotes employment for Arc of Westchester participants wherever he goes. Always looking for new employers, he simply never takes “no” for an answer.
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“Usually, they say yes,” Joe says. “I ask them to just give us the opportunity to work. And once they do, they fall in love with their new employees. And I actually become friends with the employers. We’ll play golf or racquetball together. And while we play, I talk to them about what’s next for their business and how we can help.”
veryone at Arc of Westchester loves what they do. It’s an honor to serve individuals with developmental disabilities and we take deep pride in knowing we are a nationwide leader in employment services. But we can’t do it without your help. You are the reason our participants find employment in our community. You are the reason our job coaches are on hand to ensure success. And you are the reason more and more people with developmental disabilities are living productive, meaningful lives as part of our community. Your tax-deductible gift to Arc of Westchester helps make all our extraordinary achievements possible. Please give generously to continue the success of our renowned employment program. Thank you. If you are new to our community, we invite you to become a member today. If you are already part of our family, please renew your support at
Creating Lives of Distinction
Joe Cavallo (right) with an employee at Vernon Manor.
Your Support Matters
Paul’s elevated level of motivation to improve himself and his honest way of relating to people has been a significant part of his character for his entire life. A part-time employee at NY Medical College since October 2010, Paul took it upon himself to independently pursue employment at Oppenheimer & Co. during the summer of 2012. Paul now works as an office assistant at Oppenheimer & Co. and an office clerk at NY Medical College.
Special Employment Edition
Meet Joe Cavallo, Arc of Westchester’s Senior Job Developer
Employee Spotlight: Regeneron Job Coaching
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Employer Breakfast, Award Winners
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Joe Cavallo: Making Connections and Changing Lives
Creating Lives of Distinction
or many families, educational and social milestones mark the school years, and the path to adulthood is well defined. But for others, especially those caring for a loved one with a developmental disability, the question of what’s next lingers as they begin to age out of high school. At Arc of Westchester, we believe that everyone should have a place in the community. When we first set out to create employment opportunities, there was a strong need but very few options. We were on the cutting edge in 1960 when we opened our first employment workshop in White Plains, and within a few years we had 40 employees.
Richard P. Swierat Executive Director
Today the number of individuals and families who need our support has grown exponentially, and while progress doesn’t happen overnight, together we’ve made great strides toward creating inclusive workplaces. Less than 10 years ago, many people with disabilities spent their days in sheltered workshops. 2014 marks a milestone for Arc of Westchester as we close all of our workshops. We now have 350 individuals with developmental disabilities working in shops, restaurants, schools, and offices — an extraordinary accomplishment that marks our place as a leader in the community serving people with developmental disabilities. Our career and employment programs help people find their own interests and develop their particular talents. We ensure that each person is integrated into his or her workplace. And we stay involved with our employees and employer partners every step of the way. It’s so important to us that families know there are opportunities for fulfilling and rewarding careers for their sons and daughters. And equally important, we want businesses to be aware of the social and fiscal benefits of inclusionary workplaces. We can’t change the world alone, but together we can design a future full of promise that extends through the entire arc of a life.