Thursday, October 24, 2013

Albion Redemption Center Receives Employer Recognition Award

Our celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month continues and this time we are sharing another success story - Albion Redemption Center.   Albion Redemption Center opened their doors for business on Labor Day in 2003 and has created a thriving business at their East Bank Street location in Albion, NY.
Owners John Fitzak and Ann Fitzak (John's mother) have partnered with The Arc's Supported Employment program for four or five years by hiring individuals served through the program. They are looking to add on a second shift in the future. This would allow them to increase production and also the number of employees. They are also pursuing adding a coffee shop, as well as selling pop and beer.

On Thursday, October 17, 2013, Albion Redemption Center was honored at the NDEAM 2013 Employer Recognition Awards at Westwood Country Club in Williamsville for their partnership with Supported Employment and hiring individuals supported by The Arc of Orleans County. Employees Joe Barchet and Tyler Heuer, who have both been hired through the SE program, were on hand to see John receive the award. Joe was originally hired through the ETP program (state funded wages) but is now a full-fledged Albion Redemption Center employee. Tyler was hired through traditional Supported Employment.

In the photo above at the Awards Recognition are (l.-r.): Joseph Barchet, employee; John Fitzak, owner of Albion Redemption Center; Tyler Heuer, employee; Charles "Chuck" Eaton, Direct Support Professional with Arc of Orleans Supported Employment; and Vincent Iorio, Senior Employment Specialist at Arc of Orleans.
Albion Redemption Center was also honored as The Arc of Orleans County's 2011 Business Partner at the Best Friend Awards Dinner in April 2012.
The Arc of Orleans County's Community Relations Department recently met with owners John Fitzak and Ann Fitzak at Albion Redemption Center and asked them how they liked partnering with The Arc of Orleans County's Supported Employment Program.
John Fitzak, owner of Albion Redemtion Center:
How long ago did you hire a person through Supported Employment? We've had a few individuals; the first was about four or five years ago.

Why did you decide to support this program? We wanted a way to give back. A friend was involved in a program in Florida and we wanted to do something similar here with The Arc of Orleans County.

Would you recommend this program to other businesses? Absolutely! The hardest part is the screening process, depending on the challenges the individual has to make things "fit" between the individual and the business. Keeping the individuals motivated is important, and the job coaches from The Arc help a lot with that. They assist even after the business has taken over as the employee and the person is no longer going through the program.

Would you like to share anything about Joe and Tyler? Tyler is like a machine when he's running the pop bottles through, and Joe wants to please all the time. They both do a good job.

The Arc also spoke with Debra Heuer, mother of employee Tyler Heuer. She shared: Tyler has been working at Albion Redemption for two years. He loves John and Ann and likes getting his paycheck.

The Arc of Orleans County is proud to partner with Albion Redemption Center and looks forward to working with them for many years to come.

For more information on The Arc's Supported Employment program and how your business can partner with the Arc of Orleans County, please contact Melissa Cotter, Supported Employment Manager, at 585-589-0305 ext. 4325.

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