(Montpelier, Ohio) October 21, 2019 – Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities (WCBDD) celebrated over 215 years of combined employment of individuals with disabilities and their employers on Tuesday, October 15th at the Loyal Order of Moose in Montpelier, Ohio. With around 105 people in attendance, 31 individuals and their employers were honored.
Jeff Davis, State Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities was in attendance and said, “for most of us in this room, what we do during the day, with respect to work, that defines us, outside of family, it’s the most important thing. If it’s important to us, we should offer that opportunity to everybody. And that’s what you are doing in this room. I can’t tell you how appreciative we are for what you are doing and what you have accomplished.”
Dawn Nelson celebrated 14 years with Rita’s Family Dining in Edgerton. She washes dishes and puts dishes away two days a week. She says, “I like Rita’s because they have good food.” Her coworkers Cindy Miller and Jim Kurtz both said, “she is a hard worker and always smiling.” Outside of work, Nelson is very involved in the community through volunteering. She rings the bell for Salvation Army and volunteered at the Williams County Fair. She also helps at church with cleaning and stuffing envelopes.
Derrick Green celebrated 15 years at Rita’s Family Dining. He is a dishwasher and a runner. Green says he “does a little bit of everything” and his coworkers are all fun to work with. He also enjoys getting to know the customers. When he isn’t at work, he plays baseball through Special Olympics, volunteers at a local thrift store, and plays video games.
“This is more than a job for people. There is a genuine sense of pride and friendship between employers and employees,” said Jennifer Basselman, WCBDD Superintendent.
Two people who had lost her jobs due to a restaurant closing were connected to job leads at last year’s event. Both are currently working with employers they met at the event and celebrated one year of employment at their new jobs.
Joan Miller, WCBDD Community Inclusion Specialist, said, “I am excited to see the growth in our numbers employed and the support they receive from employers, job developers and providers.”