Those who depend on the services of Jawonio recently filled its Event Room to hear some exciting news about the non-profit and its partners, NYS Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) and the New York Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation (NY Alliance): A recently-released Rockefeller Institute report highlighted the positive economic impact that people with disabilities have had on the Mid-Hudson economy. Jawonio, NYSID, NY Alliance have collaborated to bring more awareness and acceptance towards providing more jobs and equal opportunities to the disabled community The report’s goal was to raise awareness about the benefits of employing those with disabilities, highlighting that the agencies’ work supported more than 33,000 full-time jobs and generated more than $2 billion in economic impact.
Jawonio CEO Randi Rios-Castro welcomed Maureen O’Brien, President/CEO of NYS Industries for the Disabled, NYS Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and several members of the Rockland County Legislature to the presentation held on Friday, March 4. Gerard Acer also shared his personal uplifting employment experiences with Jawonio, as his wife, Lucille, beamed from her front row seat. Acer has been a maintenance worker for over twenty years with the Jawonio Commercial Cleaning Company at the White Plains County Courthouse. “I feel joyful. My wife is unbelievable as well,” he said. “During the pandemic, working at a busy Stop & Shop supermarket, she didn’t miss one day or was late for the ﬁrst year of the pandemic.” The couple is about to celebrate their 26th anniversary this year.
“Employing people with disabilities is one of those rare actions that provides wins for everyone,” said Melnick after the presentation. “I applaud Jawonio and NYSID for their commitment to helping facilitate jobs for people with disabilities and for making such a strong contribution to the region. The Rockefeller Institute report quantiﬁes just how big that contribution is.”