October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and showcase supportive, inclusive employers. For The Arc of Monroe’s Job Path program, though, they celebrate inclusion in the workforce by making job connections every day. In 2022, they matched more than 300 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with employers around Rochester and Monroe County.
“It’s a lot of fun being around Tami, said Colaiaco of his boss and Fireside owner, Tami Justice. “She knows I can get things done.”
Justice had been utilizing the services of Job Path off and on over the past few years, so when she found herself in need of a new staff member, she reached out again. Job Path suggested Albert, who Tami had worked with before the pandemic.
“When they asked if we would take Albert back, I said, yes immediately,” she said. “He always comes in with a great attitude and is in a great mood. I can ask him to help with anything. He works four days a week with us, and I would take him even more. He’s proud of the job he does, and our customers adore him.”
Job Path is a recognized leader in providing innovative employment services and is Monroe County’s largest supported employment agency. Job Path launched in 1981 and was the first to establish employment services for people with disabilities in the Western New York region. The organization has been helping connect Rochester-area businesses with qualified, pre-screened candidates for decades.
“Job Path supports our candidates and the business by linking both parties for competitive employment opportunities,” said Job Path Director of Business Relations, Brandy Solomon. “We work with a wide variety of employment industries to link candidates to right fit positions that best match their interests and skills. We are always looking for businesses to partner with us for new opportunities. We are here to support a diverse workforce.”
For Colaiaco, he’s thankful for his job, his co-workers, and the opportunity to showcase his skills.
“I want to show people I can help,” said Colaiaco. “I like to bust chops, but I also like to get down to business. When Tami’s not around, she can depend on me.”
Job Path, a division of The Arc of Monroe, supports candidates and businesses by linking both parties for competitive employment opportunities that best matches their interests and skills. Once hired by a community business partner, both the candidate and Employment Specialist (job coach) work with the employer to ensure effective training and on-the-job coaching. To learn more visit JobPathRochester.org.