mcstemployerawardsDecember 2009: Ten employers in the Monadnock region have been recognized for excellence in disability employment practices and policies at their businesses. The Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions (MCST) and Monadnock Developmental Services (MDS) will honor all of these exemplary companies at a special ceremony in Keene on December 14th.

At the top of the list of honorees is Keene State College, who received the prestigious Employment Leadership Award, one of five companies statewide to earn such a distinction in October. These Leadership Awards, sponsored by the Granite State Employment Project, spotlight employers who not only recognize the skills and contributions that people with disabilities bring to their workforce, but who also have adopted inclusive policies and hiring practices that allow people with disabilities to fairly compete for employment.

“We’re so honored to receive this award,” says Helen Giles-Gee, President of Keene State College. “Our approach to hiring, for people of all abilities, is not accidental; rather it’s part of how we do business. Diversity, civility and respect are core values at KSC.”

Of the more than forty nominees statewide for the Employment Leadership Award, ten are from the Monadnock region:  Armadillo’s Burritos, E.F. Lane Hotel, Hannaford Supermarket, Keene Food Services, Keene State College, The Keene Sentinel, NH Ball Bearing, Red’s of Jaffrey, TD Bank and the Home Healthcare, Hospice, & Community Service Meals on Wheels Program.

The recognition event at Keene State College on Monday, December 14th  is tagged “We Are Success,” which is the theme of a new public awareness campaign aimed at changing perceptions people may have about the types of work that individuals with disabilities can do. Several local people and companies, in fact some of the above-nominated, are featured as employment success stories.

“Barriers often exist that don’t allow people to demonstrate their abilities, and sometimes even lead people with disabilities to believe they can’t work,” says Sheila Mahon, Project Director for MCST.  “MCST and its partners are working hard to debunk those myths — aiming their efforts at businesses, individuals, families, schools and service agencies.”

MCST is a project of Monadnock Developmental Services and is funded by the Centers for Medicaid and federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with the goal of improving employment outcomes for able workers with disabilities. For more information, please visit www.mcst-nh.org or call Sheila Mahon at 603-352-1304.