We hosted our first meeting of A-Team Pennsylvania yesterday at WCBA in Greensburg. More than 25 staff members from a dozen pre-vocational providers came together to form this new mission for disabled workers. Vincent M. Loose, President & CEO of UniqueSource, was our guest speaker. See the A-Team Photo Album for additional event coverage.
Here is a little more information on the initiative:
MY WORK. MY CHOICE. Goal: Promote people with diverse abilities experiencing the dignity of work in a full array of employment settings.
Mission: Ignite the passion and energy of persons with diverse abilities and their families…
-to advocate in a grassroots efforts.
-create awareness in the community.
-advise those who care for our citizens with special needs to ensure service choices are protected and sustained.
We are looking for serious volunteers who would like to join the A-Team to ignite the passion and energy of persons with diverse abilities along with their families to ensure that service choices are protected and sustained. Please contact the Westmoreland County Blind Association at 724-837-1250 to learn more.
Our A-Team/Pennsylvania campaign will continue in preparation for our “Embrace the Abilities Day” in Harrisburg on October 17th and 18th. Many of our intellectually and developmentally challenged individuals, family members, staff members, and providers from numerous pre-vocational organizations throughout the state will be traveling in support of this cause. Actual stories and videos will be shared with legislators and the Wolf Administration during this meeting. For more information, please visit A-Team Pennsylvania or this website.
On June 13 UniqueSource® Products & Services (UniqueSource) hosted an evening filled with inspiration during the Embrace the Abilities Dinner, which also served as the organization’s 60th Anniversary celebration. A highlight of the event was the recognition of 25 outstanding Pennsylvania workers who were honored with UniqueSource Achievement Awards for the exceptional character they demonstrate in living and coping with disabilities, particularly in the workplace. Congratulations to David Marks who was recently honorees!
“This is a milestone year for UniqueSource,” said Vince Loose, the organization’s President & CEO. “For 60 years we have worked with nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth to provide sustainable employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians with disabilities; and tonight, we have the privilege to honor several of those workers who inspire us every day through their strong work ethics, positive attitudes and exceptional performance. They remind us how important it is to embrace each other’s abilities.”
About the Award Winner
David Marks, from New Stanton, was recognized during the dinner, held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, for not only his character, but also the personal fortitude, work ethic and abilities he exhibits while living and working with a disability.
Marks works as a shredding operator for Westmoreland County Blind Association. In addition to being one of the company’s top shredders, he also maneuvers and prepares pallets, helps to unload trucks with incoming documentation and removes hard drives from computer systems that are ready for destruction.
In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida our Adult Training Facility individuals have requested to hold a Bake Sale/Lunch with all proceeds being donated to the victims and families. This charity event will be held on Friday, June 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Westmoreland County Blind Association parking lot at 911 South Main Street, Greensburg, PA.
These uniquely special individuals with their staff members diligently work so hard on baking products to sell such as pepperoni rolls, cookies, breads, fudge as well as hot dogs and haluski. Their biggest excitement and fulfillment comes from knowing that they are helping underprivileged or less fortunate individuals. Please consider joining us for this event to partner with some of the most selfless and amazing individuals.
The Adult Training Facility, which was started in 2008, is where individuals (20-60 years old) with intellectual disabilities work with a dedicated team to learn a variety of skills essential to everyday living. The WCBA offers the ATF consumer educational experiences, social development, daily living and survival skills, as well as vocational and prevocational training. Our consumers learn personal hygiene; basic household skills like cooking and laundry; social and community awareness through frequent field trips and participating in charitable work.
Congratulations to our colleague, Clyde Bittner on being nominated for the 2016 Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award. Each year, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) honors an individual who is blind and employed in NIB’s network of associated nonprofit agencies. Clyde was nominated based upon his qualifications and accomplishments measured by criteria established by NIB’s Board of Directors. We here at WCBA, are PROUD to call Clyde our co-worker but more importantly our friend!
We have a few concerns about the proposed Work Innovations Opportunity Act (WIOA) regulations. The expanded qualifications issued to the definition of ‘competitive integrated employment’ may negatively impact the WCBA’s efforts and the individuals we work with who have intellectual disabilities.