Pasadena Civitan Club Celebrates Employers Who Make a Difference

The annual Civitan Employer Awards Reception honors businesses who hire individuals with intellectual/development disabilities

Published : Wednesday, September 26, 2018 | 11:08 AM

Eric Shepherd at OSH

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the Pasadena Civitan Club is delighted to honor three local businesses who hire persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The annual Civitan Employer Awards Reception will take place Wednesday, October 10, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, at La Casita del Arroyo located at 177 S Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. In gratitude for their commitment, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek will also present City of Pasadena Certificates of Recognition to the honorees. This year’s honorees are Burke Williams Spa, The Huntington Langham Hotel, and Orchard Supply Hardware. Each company is being recognized for their long-standing commitment to providing jobs to persons who have much to contribute and yet are often overlooked.

Employment services programs offered by Ability First, Foothill Vocational Opportunities (FVO) and Villa Esperanza Services allow adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to receive job coaching and support to secure and sustain employment within the community. Eric Shepherd receives job coaching with FVO and has had the pleasure of working at Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) in Pasadena for six years as a sales associate in their nursery department. While working at OSH, Mr. Shepherd has expressed, “Both the employees and management were always very welcoming, flexible, friendly, and clear with their expectations.” OSH management has been described as patient, understanding, and has shown a great willingness to support Mr. Shepherd in any capacity they could.

“Civitan is excited to honor these three companies. All are outstanding examples of local businesses offering opportunities,” shares Bob Moore, President of the Pasadena Civitan Club. “It is employers like them who have shown genuine support when it comes to hiring individuals with disabilities. They believe all individuals deserve a chance.”

Burke Williams Spa is another outstanding example of a local business providing jobs, as well as creating promising futures for individuals with disabilities. After seeing a news story on TV, Diane Kim who was General Manager of Burke Williams Pasadena location, was intrigued by the possibility of employing individuals with developmental disabilities. She started brainstorming how this might be possible at the spa. She reached out to Villa’s Employment Services program and they agreed that a job in the spa’s laundry room might be a good fit for a client. With the assistance from a Villa job coach Greg applied for the laundry room position and prepared for what would be a successful interview. With Greg’s hard work and support from those around him, he turned a job into a career, later running the department where he started.

The collaboration between these businesses and local organizations supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities highlights the possibilities for mutually successful outcomes in the business community. Civitan encourages businesses to be creative in uncovering employment opportunities that might be a fit for someone with a disability. Moore continues, “Everyone has capabilities. All most people need is an opportunity to succeed.”

The Pasadena Civitan Club, an 89-year old service club and a Pasadena institution, has made an annual commitment to recognize Pasadena businesses that have actively sought productive and loyal employees from a talent pool that is under-utilized – persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Civitan is a worldwide community service organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities.







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