CARMEL, N.Y. -- A career day at which participants got to mentor others in the community was the mainstay of a mentoring day recently in Carmel.
Residents in Putnam County were given the chance to try out various jobs as potential careers. The event was coordinated by Careers for People with Disabilities, Inc. Putnam County Executor Mary Ellen Odell coordinated the effort.
The program pairs mentors from county departments with participants who want to learn what it takes to be successfully employed.
“Putnam’s fifth mentoring day is a great time for county staff to share their employment skills and interests with individuals who don’t always get the chance to prove themselves,” said Careers Executive Director Tina Cornish-Lauria."
"(Odell) and her staff always make our participants feel welcome and needed, and everyone leaves the event with new understanding and a new friend,” Cornish-Lauria said.
"People with disabilities represent a largely untapped well of talent that are loyal, dedicated and hard-working, but oftentimes get overlooked by employers," Odell said. "After participating in this program for a fifth year, I can personally attest to its success in educating the public so they recognize the contributions of people with disabilities, rather than limitations, and welcome them in the workplace."
For the recent initiative, Carmel High School students, and PARC participants were matched with volunteer county mentors, based on the interests of each mentee.
County departments participating included the Clerk’s Office, Department of Social Services, Office for Senior Resources and Veterans Services and others.
The participants worked with their mentors on learning administrative skills, customer service, landscaping, delivering mail and food service and other activities.
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