When we started our Employment Spotlight blog in January, I don’t think we could have imagined what this blog would become or how many people it would reach.
Our goal was to tell great stories about people with disabilities who have been successful working in the community. We wanted to showcase a range of capabilities and industries, as well as highlight how each person contributes to the workplace. Some, like Linda Kunick and James Harley, told their employment stories in their own words.
We wanted to give insight into what happens behind the scenes as people look for jobs, train for various careers or just explore the possibility of working in the community. Our staff members Lisa Grady and Nathan Beck offered expertise in their respective columns, “Talking Transition” and “Connecting with Employment.” And we wanted to feature local businesses like Artifex Promotions and Live Reps Call Center that have made a commitment to hiring people with disabilities.
In addition to original content, our blog became a place to share other employment success stories from around Ohio, the United States, and the rest of the world. Our partners at Ohio Valley Goodwill and Butler County Board of DD contributed posts. And we tried to help business owners as well as job seekers find useful information.
None of this would have been possible without our dedicated staff, businesses or, most importantly, the people listed below who were willing to share their employment stories with us and the community. It’s been a wonderful first year, and we hope you’ll continue this journey with us!
- Don Wood, who is a fixture at Northgate Mall as he takes lunch orders for Applebee’s
- Evan Sprague, who is a dependable employee at the Mount St. Joseph University dining hall
- Andy Schwertman, who is incredibly passionate about his job at Everybody’s Records
- Melissa Doerflein, who always greets customers with at smile at McDonald’s
- Matt Kayes, who helps parents and patients navigate Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
- Jason Waugh, who loves his job at the Westwood YMCA so much that it doesn’t feel like work to him
- Sara Furnish, who always brightens the day for customers and co-workers at North College Hill Bakery
- Nakiea Spaulding, who connects with parents and children at the Perlman Center
Caroline Cameron, who started her own specialty bike rental business at Sawyer Point
- Emily Strole, who is always willing to step up to the challenge at Frisch’s
- Sheryl Fairbanks, who is an excellent employee at Kroger, where she’s worked for more than 20 years
- Deb Spears, Latasha Walker and Jimmy Spampinato who attend Beckman Adult Center but also have jobs in the community
- April Meyers, who always makes sure diners feel welcome at Sleepy Bee Cafe in Blue Ash
- Sam James, who has a passion for animals that shines through at Dogtown
- Michele Vaught, who combined her artistic talent with entrepreneurial spirit to sell her work at local shops
By Lisa Danford, HCDDS Community Relations Coordinator