A panel-led discussion and Reverse Career Fair drew 75 people to the Hartleb Technology Center at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) on Wednesday evening, October 30th. The event, sponsored by Fidelity House CRC, NECC, and Chesterton, provided useful information for area employers who are seeking to hire people with disabilities. Representatives from CVS Health, Home Depot, Food Services at Northeast Rehabilitation, and Carry Out Café responded to questions about their experiences with hiring an inclusive and diverse workforce.
CVS Advisor of Workforce Initiatives, Jonathan DaSilva, connected with the audience by sharing his experience as the dad of a young man with autism. His insights on how to build an inclusive and diverse workforce included “We change the word ‘no’ to ‘yes if’”. DaSilva went on to explain that he encourages employees to consider what training they need in order to say yes to a task that needs to be done.
Erica Mawby-Roche, FHCRC Director of Vocational Services and FHCRC Program Manager Daniel Ouellette moderated the panel discussion.
Many thanks to the panelists:
- Elizabeth Grady – parent
- Tim McLaughlin – Food Services at Northeast Rehabilitation
- Therese Wooldridge – Director, Northeast Rehabilitation
- Jonathan DaSilva – Advisor of Workforce Initiatives, CVS Health
- Carmen Fulchini – General Manager, Home Depot
- Paula Simpson – Owner, Carry Out Café
The event ended on a high note with employers walking from table to table to meet prospective candidates who are challenged by a disability. Candidates practiced networking and discussed their skills and experience in current and past positions.