July 11, 2013
On June 26, a group of 125 job seekers who are enrolled in, or have completed, Abilities, Inc. at The Viscardi Center’s job training and employment placement services participated in the 365/100 Career Fair meeting with representatives from 20+ employers about potential job opportunities and realizing success. A sampling of companies in attendance were: Robert Half International, Astoria Federal Savings, National Grid, Telephonics and three agencies of the federal government, among others. Abilities, Inc. prepares adolescents and adults with all types of disabilities (cognitive, physical, learning, developmental) and levels of experience for entry or re-entry into the workforce.
Michael Kalberer was hired as a customer service representative by Strathmore’s Who’s Who, a Long Island-based publisher of an annual 2,000-page book of prominent business professionals. Reflecting on the experience, Michael said, “Coming to the 365/100 Career Fair at Abilities, Inc. was the greatest thing for me. I was able to easily talk to the employers and it resulted in turning employers’ no’s into a ‘yes you are hired.’”
Jim D’Ambrosio, another job seeker, also had success. “It was very useful meeting with recruiters face-to-face. I was able to obtain a strong job lead and gain valuable information about federal employment,” said D’Ambrosio.
Barbara Mikrut, a recruiter with Melville-based Canon Solutions America, Inc., collected over 40 resumes, noting that several candidates have already been interviewed by phone. In discussing the Fair, she commented, “It was a great experience; we met a very diverse pool of candidates.”
In the weeks before the Career Fair, participants prepared with placement counselors from Abilities, Inc., polishing résumés and targeting companies of interest. During the event, counselors helped participants maximize their experience, facilitating introductions to company representatives.
Held on-site, the Fair was part of Abilities, Inc.’s 365/100 campaign, a year-long effort to secure employment for 100 people with disabilities in 365 days. Dozens of individuals have already been placed in positions as a result of the campaign. During the Career Fair, company representatives also attended a workshop on compliance issues for employers and federal contractors regarding the hiring of individuals with disabilities. Mike Dolan, program manager for Abilities, Inc. explained that additional employer-related events will be held later this year.
About The Viscardi Center: Founded by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who served as disability advisor to eight U.S. presidents and became one of the world’s leading advocates, The Viscardi Center educates, employs and empowers children and adults with disabilities. It provides Pre-K through High School education, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, career counseling and placement, assistive technology and workforce diversification assistance to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and businesses. A global leader, it employs 300+ professionals, including experts in education, human resources and technology.