Oneida Nation Honored by New York State ARC, OPWDD
Recognition for Hiring Workers with Developmental Disabilities
The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and New York State ARC (NYSARC) each presented awards to the Oneida Indian Nation for its employment of the developmentally disabled. The Oneida Nation received the statewide OPWDD Works for Me Large Employer of the Year Award and the NYSARC Central New York Regional Employer of the Year award.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
The Oneida Nation employs about 20 developmentally disabled individuals in its business enterprises, mainly at Turning Stone Resort Casino. Oneida Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter said, “Our developmentally disabled employees are important contributors to our success. The Oneida Indian Nation culture celebrates diversity and we carry those beliefs into our hiring practices – providing employment opportunities for not just a few, but for the entire community.”
The OPWDD “Works for Me” award, presented at a luncheon in Albany October 17, recognizes select businesses for their commitment to workforce diversity through the hiring of the developmentally disabled. OPWDD Commissioner Courtney Burke said, “We congratulate Oneida Nation Enterprises on being named the 2012 Works for Me Large Employer of the Year. By employing several people with developmental disabilities in a variety of jobs including porters, housekeepers, dishwashers, dealers, and cooks, Oneida Nation Enterprises demonstrates that people with developmental disabilities are capable of great things if given the opportunity.”
The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities coordinates services for more than 126,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and others.
The NYSARC award, which the Oneida Nation accepted at the organization’s 63rd annual convention in Albany October 19, honors the commitment and dedication of employers that hire workers with developmental disabilities. The Arc CEO Karen Korotzer said, “Turning Stone Resort Casino does so much to ensure that individuals served through The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter are given an opportunity to experience life to the fullest. We recognize employers like Turning Stone for their commitment to advance opportunities for people with disabilities and for making the Utica/Rome area a leader in achieving that goal.”
NYSARC’s mission is to advocate for persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in every manner possible. In its advocacy role, NYSARC is committed to a full quality of life for every person, as it recognizes the challenges of the present and has a clear vision for the future.
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