At the March 2015 Building a Community of Belonging Forum, we had a new Partner in Humphrey Products. This is the first local for profit manufacturing business that has joined Connect Kalamazoo. Linda Rynd, Human Resource Director for Humphrey was in attendance. Recently, I met with her to follow up on some ideas that she had for expanding Connect Kalamazoo into the business world. One of the questions Linda had was about how can The Arcadia Institute support employers to hire people with disabilities. This was my general response:
Through Community Brokering, The Arcadia Institute staff has been working toward employment for some of the people we work with. We have found that we are most successful when we find the just right fit between the employer’s needs and the strengths of the person. When we find a job for a person, we need to follow up by making sure that not only the person is supported, but also employers. We coach the person AND we help the employer to understand any accommodations or how to instruct the employee with disabilities.
I also told Linda that we are also available to speak to co-workers about supporting employees with disabilities. We can help them to be aware of the benefits of having people with disabilities in the work force and general ways to help them to be successful.
If you would like more information please contact Allison Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-217-2205.