As we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness month, I wondered, “What has been the impact of the pandemic?”
To find out, I interviewed three of our Supported Employment (SE) staff, Marquis Wallace, Transitional Team Leader, Amy Bacon, Program Specialist, and Cammy McGhee, Program Specialist, and gleaned a great deal of information.
The pandemic actually has had a positive impact on SE. There continue to be many new opportunities for jobs that involves cleaning. No longer is it a “stigmatized” task. Essential employers are very concerned about “high touch” areas and the necessity for ongoing cleaning and disinfecting. Customers want to be assured that all areas are disinfected. Employers often did not have sufficient staff to complete these tasks. Additionally, some of their employees were reluctant to leave their homes, so they turned to SE.
Our individuals are resilient. The rest of the world may have been afraid, but our individuals were ready to work. Businesses that worked with us during previous occasions already understood that individuals with disabilities are reliable and dependable. New businesses, such as Golden Corral, knew us by reputation as a valued source for employees. We also found that some businesses, such as ServiceMaster Clean, wanted to expand their workforce to meet the new needs. As we are hopefully coming out of the pandemic, we are finding more businesses are considering us as a source for employees.
Supported Employment is celebrating its 35th year. Thank you to the businesses that continue to support our efforts to expand the number of persons with disabilities in the workforce. Please see below a listing of the Erie businesses which have hired persons with disabilities. It’s a win/win opportunity for employers and persons with disabilities!
|Advanced Welding Technologies||McDonald’s (Buffalo Road)|
|Barber National Institute||Millcreek Mall Food Court|
|Bello’s Market (West 32nd Street)||North East Alliance Christian Child Care Center|
|Bello’s Market (West 8th Street)||Nunzi’s Restaruant|
|Camp Fitch YMCA||ONEX, Inc.|
|Country Fair (Station Road)||Penn State Behrend Housing and Food Services|
|Country Fair (Wesleyville)||Pennsylvania Blind Association Services|
|Elizabeth Lee Black School||Peterson’s Property Maintenance Inc.|
|Ember + Forge||Playway Loving Child Care Center|
|F3 Metalworx||Quality Inn & Suites|
|Foam Fabricators, Inc.||ServiceMaster Clean|
|Giant Eagle Supermarket||Tech Tank|
|Golden Corral||The Crick Coffee House & Eatery|
|Grape Vine Laundry & Linnens||U Pick Six Harbor House|
|Harborcreek Giant Eagle||U Pick Six Public House|
|Jimmy John’s||U Pick Six Tap House|
|Lake Shore Country Club||Wendy’s (Peach Street)|
|LECOM Dental School||YMCA (Downtown)|
|Little Wonder’s Child Care||YMCA (Harborcreek)|
|Main Street Cakery Care|