Troy and Albany Lions Clubs
help the disabled find employment
Thanks to the efforts of the Albany and Troy Lions Clubs, on Wednesday, October
24th, 2001, 6 job seekers with visual impairments participated in a disability
employment mentoring day, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, at its North
Atlantic Regional Office in Ballston Spa. This half-day event gave participants,
through group and individual contact with mentors at the company, the
opportunity to learn about potential careers in the insurance industry, and
areas which support it, such as clerical work, information technology, and
Participants were paired, as closely as possible, with mentors working in
fields they wished to explore as career choices. Through this program, not only
were they able to learn the usual things most people need to consider when
looking at career possibilities, but how feasible a career of interest might be,
given the constraints, or lack of them, a particular disability might present,
and ways they might be eliminated or reduced through creative thinking.
Some participants submitted resumes to State Farm, which currently has
openings. At least one of them will continue e-mail contact with his mentor.
State Farm's first-time effort in this region is part of National Disability
Mentoring Day, another activity in Disability Employment month, co-sponsored by
the National Association of People with Disabilities, the U.S. Department of
Labor, and the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with
Disabilities, designed to increase employment of people with disabilities.
Mike O'Brien from the Career Planning and Placement Center at Hudson Valley
Community College, and a member of the Troy Lions Club, as well as Deborah
McMahon, Placement Specialist, Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany (NABA),
worked with the Albany and Troy Lions Clubs for transportation of the
participants to and from State Farm. Much thanks to Jerry Gordon, Zone
Chairperson, Larry Krug, President of the Albany club, and both Janet Jones,
Albany Club Secretary, and John Milliren, president of the Troy Club, for
transporting the participants. By assisting with this worthwhile private sector
initiative, these clubs really demonstrated what Lionism is all about.