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Welcoming workers with disabilities

Participating employers include: The Christmas Tree Shop, Crossroads Industries, Hollister Inc., Goodwill Stores, Peter Harris, McDonalds, Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart, Price Chopper, Hannaford, My Linh Restaurant, Northeastern Masonry and Chimney, state Attorney General's Warehouse, New York State Museum, Canape Connections, Leo O'Brien Federal Building, James T. Foley Courthouse, Janitronics, Dunkin' Donuts, Dt. Peters Hospital, Garcia's Restaurant, Stewarts Shops, CleanPro Industries, Hoffman's Car Wash, Pine Hills Elementary Schools, New Visions Business Office, The Terrace at Beverwyck, General Control Systems, the University at Albany and the state Department of Transportation.

John Hastings, owner of John's Place, a newsstand in the Office of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, at 44 Holland Ave., in Albany, said he went to New Visions for many employees in the past, partially due to his own disability.

"I am legally blind," he said.

Hastings understood that an individual with a disability is oftentimes as capable of performing duties at his newsstand as someone without one would be, so he decided to give it a chance.

"We set up a working partnership with New Visions last year to try and get some of their consumers or clients to work here," said Hastings. "There's a lot of managers out there who don't want to have that kind of responsibility."

Hastings said he had an occupancy at his newsstand last year, and directly went to New Visions when it came time to hire.

"Last December, I needed to find a part-time employee, so I looked at New Visions, and brought in one of their people. That basically didn't work out because she needed supervision all the time," he said.

Hastings did not give up on New Visions because one employee did not work out. He immediately hired another New Visions employee, "and she's worked out great!" Hastings exclaimed.

He continued, "She's very conscientious, so I'm quite happy with the way she's performed, from a business standpoint."

To participate in the New Visions Supported Community Employment program, contact New Visions at 935-0725.

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