Judson Center’s Vocational Services program recently hosted a reception to celebrate 25 years of matching individuals with disabilities with meaningful work. The program started over a quarter of a century ago with the purpose of providing staffing solutions with individuals of all abilities. That first year, three clients were employed in the program. Today, Vocational Services employs 240.
Over 300 clients, families, and employers came out to DoubleTree by Hilton in Novi for a program and awards ceremony honoring business and individual nominees in six categories.
The Employer of the Year award was presented to Holiday Market for being one of the first businesses in the community to invite individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the satisfaction of earning a wage and being part of the workforce. Upon being presented the award, Holiday Market President Gina Mangold shared her family’s history of supporting the program and the joy she receives daily from the Judson Center work crew. “They come to work every day with a smile, happy to be here. It is such a privilege for me and I am happy to call them all my friends.”
The Medium Employer Award went to Detroit Institute for Children, and Oakland Community College (Orchard Ridge) received the Large Employer Award. The Volunteer Site of the year award was received by the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce. Also awarded that evening were Employee of the Year to Evelina Arnord of Detroit and Client of the Year to Thomas “Jake” Guthard of Westland. The event was filled with testimonials from individuals closely connected to the program some which can be found on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXbOwacUY9k&feature=plcp.
Judson Center Vocational Services helps adults with disabilities obtain and maintain gainful employment in the community; enhancing their degree of independence, personal choice, and community involvement and contribution. Vocational Servicesdevelops effective partnerships with local employers by understanding and responding to their labor needs over time. On an annual basis, Vocational Services provides employees to over 30 businesses, of which 15 attended the event.
“Not only was it an honor to celebrate over 25 years of impact on the community, but no one who achieves success can do so without acknowledging the help of others” said Daniel Robin, Vocational Services Program Manager. “We are looking forward to another 25 great years and a continued growth of the program!”
Source: Judson Center