Several hundred people came out to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center here in Concord to recognize businesses from around the state that reach out with opportunity and encouragement to assist people with disabilities in finding a job.
“This event is a wonderful way to raise awareness with businesses about the importance of promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce,” says Jim Hinson, who is with New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation. “By sharing the successful experiences of New Hampshire employers, we hope more will follow.”
We heard a few of those stories this morning, of how employers large and small hired men and women for jobs in their organizations and finding them as enthusiastic, dependable and reliable as the rest of their workers.
John Murray of Murdawg Custom and Everything Automotive in Ossipee told a great story – of how he and his wife, Maggie, believe in giving back to their community and how, one day, he was introduced to John Patten by way of Northern Human Services.
Over the next few minutes, Murray explained how, having no positions available, he agreed to mentor Patten one evening a week. How mentoring turned in a full-time position, how Patten is more than just an employee.
“He’s a part of my family,” Murray said.
The 2012 Employment Leadership Award winners are:
- Murdawg Custom and Everything Automotive, Ossipee
- Chartwells, a food service company in Concord
- Pete & Gerry’s Organics, Monroe
- Remcon North Corp., Meredith
- Rita Mae’s restaurant, Manchester
Gov. Lynch received the first Individual Employment Leadership award, for his work in recognizing that those with disabilities can make a difference in the state’s economy and understanding the unique issues involved in hiring.
Hinson said employers’ fears about lost productivity, increased liability and the cost to accommodate disabled workers are misconceptions.
Ten employers this morning said their business is all the more for reaching out to this workforce, and that they, and their customers, would be less had they not.
Division of Economic Development