October 19, 2016
The general manager of executive chef of Johnson State College Dining Services/Sodexo have received the Vermont “Spirit of the ADA Award” from the Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities (GCEPD).
The award goes to individuals and businesses that reflect the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act in employment practices, including accessibility, recruiting, hiring, accommodating and support of a person(s) with disability as an overall employment strategy.
Since 2012, general manager Tom Fondakowski and executive chef Paul Bento have collaborated with Creative Workforce Solutions (CWS) to provide job opportunities in JSC Dining Services for clients in variety of employment programs, including VocRehab/VABIR, Lamoille County Mental Health, Green Mountain Support Services, JOBS and Reach Up.
A press release from GCEPD praised Bento and Fondakowski for their commitment to training and retention, highlighting their work “above and beyond” in helping a young man keep his job and working with CWS to stabilize another worker’s situation by providing transportation to and from work as well as food assistance. “The level of commitment from Tom and Paul to maintain their employees is impressive and emblematic of the strong partners they are in considering, hiring and supporting Vermonters with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment,” the release stated.