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(New York, NY)–HeartShare Human Services of New York rang the Closing Bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, December 26th.
At 4 p.m., HeartShare President and CEO Bill Guarinello rang the bell and closed the market. Alongside Chairman of the Board Paul Torre, Board Members Angelo Del Giudice, Jonathan Goldstein, and Peter Pisapia joined the celebration. HeartShare guests attended a small reception with refreshments, a gift presentation, as well as received a commemorative medallion.
HeartShare, which provides services to over 34,000 people with developmental disabilities, children in foster care and families in crises, joined together to celebrate its mission and its goals for the coming year, particularly in its employment services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
With support and collaboration from corporate partners, HeartShare aims to dramatically change the playing field in how people with disabilities access competitive jobs in New York City and beyond. The HeartShare Employment Program has cultivated a network of valued employers, who have worked with the organization to provide supports and accommodations, if necessary, to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Some program participants attended the Closing Bell, including Omari, who recently started a position as a greeter and stock assistant at CVS, and Nicholas, who has been working at JCPenney for the past two years. “From Modell’s Sporting Goods and Staples to the 9/11 Museum and Queens College, we have cultivated an extensive network of valued employment partners,” said HeartShare Employment Specialist Joseph McCrae. “At HeartShare, we break through the discriminatory barriers that adults with disabilities face and bring their employment goals within reach.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, not only are 8 out of 10 people with any kind of disability underemployed, but they also are more likely to secure part-time positions and work in service occupations. “We want our program participants to have the opportunity to work, but also have access to the same New York job market as their peers do,” explained Meredith Beck, HeartShare Vice President of Development, who has spearheaded efforts to broaden job opportunities for this group.
To achieve this, HeartShare will host its inaugural ABILITY360° Ability and Inclusion Summit in fall 2018. The two-day event will bring together corporations engaged in disability and inclusion initiatives, as well as organizations like HeartShare that support people with I/DD seeking employment. A series of panel discussions, roundtables and trainings for employers will culminate in a job fair, allowing qualified candidates with disabilities from HeartShare and beyond to initiate the conversation with participating employers.
The founding sponsor of ABILITY360° is The FAR Fund, which provides funding to programs that promote healthy social and emotional development in children and families. The FAR Fund has a strong interest in developmental disabilities as an area of funding.
“Through public-private partnerships, we hope to bring together stakeholders to share best hiring practices and truly equalize employment opportunities for all New Yorkers with disabilities,” said President and CEO Bill Guarinello. To participate in HeartShare’s ABILITY360° Ability and Inclusion Summit, please contact Meredith.Beck@heartshare.org.