One in five Americans have disabilities, but less than 20 percent are employed, said Frank M. Castella, Jr., president and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, at the National Disability Employment Awareness Month Awards Breakfast in October.
The breakfast was hosted by the Mid-Hudson Employment Alliance and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month and included an award ceremony honoring local businesses and organizations that have excelled in hiring people with disabilities, including Omega.
For 15 years Omega has worked with Abilities First, an organization committed to expanding employment options for people with disabilities. Abilities First nominated Omega for the award, and Adam Cincotti, executive chef and general manager of Omega FoodWorks, accepted the award on Omega’s behalf.
"Our partnership with Abilities First over many years has been of great mutual benefit, providing much-needed support in our dining hall and enriching the fullness of our staff community," said Omega CEO Robert "Skip" Backus. "We are grateful for this recognition and award."
National Disability Employment Awareness Month began in 1945 when Congress enacted legislation designating the first week of October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week” as a response to the number of World War II veterans returning from the war with disabilities.
The month has become a time for “recognizing disabled people's contributions to the workforce and reinforcing our country’s commitment to providing employment opportunities for all," said Castella. "Just like everyone else, disabled people are the sum of many parts, including work experiences.”
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