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Genesee ARC kicked off October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with an employer appreciation breakfast at the Genesee ARC Community Center.  Businesses and agencies who partner with Genesee ARC to meet their employment needs were invited to the gathering.   ARC recognized employers for believing in the abilities of the ARC workforce, both in the community and through WorkCenter subcontracts.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging was recognized with the Business Partner of the Year Award.  This honor is in recognition of the partnership between the Office for the Aging and ARC for the Genesee County Meals on Wheels contract.  ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski said this contract employs people we support while at the same time providing nutritious meals to seniors in our community.  “We are producing more than 100 meals daily and this contract maintains employment for four people who are also doing something they love,” she said. 

Ruth Spink, Services Administrator for the Office for the Aging thanked ARC, “We love partnering with you,” she said, adding the Office is exploring ways to expand the meals program in the future.  Genesee ARC Culinary Arts training program has had the Meals on Wheels contract since July 2012.

A LeRoy business received ARC’s Innovation Spirit Award for developing a distinctive work model with Genesee ARC.  Bessey Tools approached ARC last September, with the news that they wanted to move an assembly operation from Long Island to their headquarters in LeRoy and wanted to know if ARC could supply the work force.  According to Executive Director Donna Saskowski, “Thanks to Bessey Tools, between 5 and 7 people are employed on a full-time basis at Bessey Tools and to date the group has assembled more than 53,000 clamps.”  She added quality and inspections meet Bessey tools exceptional standards.

Accepting the Innovation Spirit Award was Dan Norman of Bessey Tools.  He told attendees, “It’s an honor to work with the folks from ARC.”

The Employer Recognition event was also the perfect opportunity for ARC to recognize an outstanding employee.  Assemblyman Steve Hawley presented the award to Jeff Mayeu, an employee of Angelica Textile through ARC’s Supported Employment program.  Jeff was named one of 59 Outstanding Performers through New York State Industries for the Disabled’s (NYSID) annual people-centered awards program. NYSID is a not-for-profit business which administers Preferred Source contracts for goods and services in support of state and local government procurement budgets, to achieve its mission of “Turning business opportunities into JOBS for New Yorkers with disabilities.” 

Jeff joined Genesee ARC’s workforce in 2006 and tried a number of jobs, landing a position at Angelica in 2009.  When asked about his work performance, Angelica supervisors praised Jeff.  “He comes to work every day knowing exactly what has to be done, pays close attention to his work and does everything that is asked of him,” the supervisor said.   All Outstanding Performers receive a certificate of achievement and cash award, and are featured in the annual NYSID yearbook.

Area businesses who want to know more about developing employment partnerships with Genesee ARC may contact ARC Coordinator of Business Development Paul Saskowski at 343-1123 or

(Pictured: Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Jeff Mayeu) 

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