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Brooklyn Community Services Salutes 2017 National Disability Employment Awareness Month
BCS, a pioneer in job programs and placement for the disabled, salutes Employment Partners: Home Goods, Damascus Bakery and Major Shade for being honored by the NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and ACCES-VR on October 30.
In September 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor issued disability employment statistics for individuals age 16 and over. It stated the labor force participation for people with disabilities is 21.2 percent and for people without disabilities is 68.7percent. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 7.5 percent and for people without disabilities is 3.9 percent.
For their impact in career development for BCS clients with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities and mental illness, BCS nominated BCS Employment Partners Home Goods, Damascus Bakery and Major Shade to be honored at the National Disability Employment Awareness Breakfast, co-hosted by the New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and ACCES-VR, New York State Education Department on October 30.
"These companies share our commitment to employ qualified individuals no matter what their challenges. In addition to receiving highly motivated individuals who will be committed to excelling on the job, companies that employ the disabled also can advance their commitment to social philanthropy and equality," said Damion Samuels, Division Director, BCS Workforce Development. "BCS specializes in providing services and employment training for adults in Brooklyn who face the dual challenges of poverty and disability to ensure they can live fulfilling and productive lives in our community.
At the New York City National Disability Employment Awareness Breakfast, BCS client Natasha Harvey will be presenting the Regional Award to HomeGoods and giving a short speech. She's been a HomeGoods stock associate for 14 months and a BCSWorkforce Development client since 2004. Previous jobs have included The Children's Place and BCS BKLYN UNLTD. At HomeGoods, she stocks shelves and provides customer assistance. "My job is to ensure that I keep a safe and organized store for my customers," Harvey said. "I like that HomeGoods is patient and understanding to my needs. If I don't understand how to do something, I feel confident and comfortable letting them know. I am happy that I was given the opportunity to show people that despite having disability I can be successful."
The NDEAM theme "Inclusion Drives Innovation,"
BCS Workforce Development helps people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities and mental illness receive vocational testing, evaluation, coaching, employment training and career development services as they transition to employment. People with challenging disabilities are placed in internships where they can begin to build basic skills. Training and job placement is conducted for careers in retail specialist, custodial technician, food services, shipping and receiving, clerical/office skills and messenger services.
BCS has a history of innovative job development for the disabled. In the early 1900s, BCS created a successful three month training program that taught people who were blind to work in office positions as telephone operators and typists. For over 50 years, BCS has provided subcontract assembly services to entrepreneurs, retailers, designers, and manufacturers, fulfilling one to any number of steps in getting products to market at BKLYN UNLTD.All of the work is done by highly motivated and skilled adults with disabilities.
According to a study by DePaul University, people with disabilities have lower absenteeism and longer tenure than non-disabled employees. "These people are motivated and committed to working. They do an excellent job. They care. Their attention to detail and their overall commitment is very strong, in part because of the challenges they face." For more information on BCS Workforce Development, check out www.wearebcs.org
About Brooklyn Community Services
Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) celebrates the strength of the human spirit, and throughout 2017, we continue to celebrate our 150th Anniversary. Our mission is to empower at-risk children, youth and families, and adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities to overcome the obstacles they face, as we strive to ensure opportunity for all to learn, grow and contribute to ONE Brooklyn Community. To achieve this mission, we offer comprehensive and holistic services: early childhood education; youth development services and educationally rich after-school programs; counseling for at-risk families; treatment, recovery and job training to support the life goals of adults living with mental illness; person-centered rehabilitation and community living support for adults with developmental disabilities and disaster recovery case management and relief services. BCS also seeks to increase public awareness of the impacts of poverty on individuals and the community at-large. With a staff of over 500 and over 25 sites around the borough, BCS serves 18,000 people every year. Today, BCS is one of the longest serving nonprofit, non-sectarian social service providers in New York City.