Opportunity for everyone: People with disabilities offer valuable work ethic

Local News

For many employees in the community with a developmental disability, work is their passion

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. There are opportunities all over the Valley for people with disabilities and some have already found their dream jobs.

Elaine Denmeade works in the office at the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The New Middletown woman is one of 80 people with a developmental disability employed in the Valley.

“Everybody puts a smile on my face, including myself,” Denmeade said.

Her love for the job shows the importance of offering employment to everyone.

“They’re going to offer you something you may not get from someone else,” said Emily Martinez, community services director at MCBDD. “That renewed focus, that excitement, that pride.”

That’s something Austintown Subway employee Phyllis Cizmar does well.

“Everybody treats me real nice and everything, and I’m proud of them,” she said.

Cizmar said she loves her job and the customers.

“I say hello to them, I say, ‘How you doing today?’ and everything.”

Martinez said employing people with disabilities is always important, but October shines a light on what’s right here, right now.

“Help our business partners realize what’s available to them and help people with disabilities work in their community as equally as you or I would.”

For many employees in the community with a developmental disability, work is their passion.

“I just wake up in a happy mood,” said Michael Klaus, who works at That’s A Wrap in Boardman.

Klaus loves everything he gets to do.

“I don’t have no favorites, I just like it,” he said.

“It just puts a smile on your face and pep in your step, and that’s something we want all of our businesses to know,” Martinez said.

MCBDD has a number of people ready and able to start working.

For more information, call MCBDD at 330-797-2825 or visit the organization’s website.

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