Persons with Disabilities in the Workforce: Reliable and Dependable!

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 TechnologiesMcDonald’s (Buffalo Road)
Barber National InstituteMillcreek 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 YMCAONEX, Inc.
Country Fair (Station Road)Penn State Behrend Housing and Food Services
Country Fair (Wesleyville)Pennsylvania Blind Association Services
Elizabeth Lee Black SchoolPeterson’s Property Maintenance Inc.
Ember + ForgePlayway Loving Child Care Center
F3 MetalworxQuality Inn & Suites
Foam Fabricators, Inc.ServiceMaster Clean
Giant Eagle SupermarketTech Tank
Golden CorralThe Crick Coffee House & Eatery
Grape Vine Laundry & LinnensU Pick Six Harbor House
Harborcreek Giant EagleU Pick Six Public House
Jimmy John’sU Pick Six Tap House
Lake Shore Country ClubWendy’s (Peach Street)
LECOM Dental SchoolYMCA (Downtown)
Little Wonder’s Child CareYMCA (Harborcreek)
Main Street Cakery Care 
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