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Enriching lives one story at a time

National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month

As a part of National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, CWI would like to offer you the opportunity to get to know people who are successfully working in the community.  Read about Mel, Lynne and Brenda below…

Meet Lucas!

Lucas is a young man working at Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill.  Lucas began working at Uno’s without supports, but decided that support from Competitive Edge, the Employment Division of CWI, would be helpful.  CWI staff have helped Lucas utilize cabs to get to and from work.  They have supported him in learning the finer points of being a good employee.  Lucas is eager to learn and have a career that allows him to continue to have his own apartment.  Lucas’s supervisors and co-workers have provided him with a great deal of support on the job. CWI would like to acknowledge their role in helping Lucas grow and develop as an employee.

Meet Mel!

He is a proud employee of Red Lobster and has been working at the restaurant for over 20 years!  Mel has had many different duties during his time at Red Lobster; they have included cleaning, making biscuits, dish washing and rolling silverware.  Mel is a reliable employee who works hard to ensure the job gets done.  Mel has truly become a part of the Red Lobster family.  The employees of Red Lobster have become a support system for Mel and they know they can rely on him.

Working has allowed Mel the means to travel.  He is quite an experienced traveler and has visited Hawaii, Disney, Dollywood and Tennessee.  Mel is always planning his next great adventure.

Meet Lynne and Brenda!

They both work for the Warren County Head Start where they have met and developed a long lasting friendship.

Brenda worked previously in the fast food and retail industries.  In February of 2016 she started working with her Employment Counselor at Competitive Edge (the Supported Employment Division of CWI) to make a career change. She pursued a schedule that allowed her more family time.  Quickly she was hired by Head Start and worked in the kitchen doing dishes. As Head Start learned about Brenda’s skill set, she was able to expand her duties. Not only is she dishwashing, but she helps out by picking up produce at a local market as well as in the classrooms.  Brenda has shown her commitment to Head Start and enjoys the friendships she has developed.

Lynne has worked with Competitive Edge for over 25 years. She has a long work history that highlights her determination to better herself. Lynne’s work history started with CWI’s Sheltered Workshop where she worked on piece rate jobs. Because of her skills and desire to have a higher level of employment she worked on several cleaning crews and various contracted work sites with CWI.  In 2016, Lynne was hired by Head Start as a cleaner.  Lynne has found this job rewarding.  She has developed friendships with co-workers and enjoys the smiling faces of the children for whom she keeps the Head Start clean and safe.  Last school year, Lynne received recognition for perfect attendance and looks forward to this recognition again this year.

For Brenda and Lynne, their jobs are not just a source of income; their jobs are a source of pride, friendship and provide value in their lives

For more information about National Disability Employment Month visit:

NDEAM 2019 poster:

https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/