Fedcap, NYSID & LIRR mark National Disability Employment Awareness Month at Penn Station
Fedcap Custodian Ana Cortorreal was honored for her outstanding work at a ceremony Tuesday that also marked October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“It was very difficult as a deaf person to find employment,” Ms. Cortorreal, speaking through an ASL interpreter, told a crowd gathered to celebrate her at her workplace – the Long Island Rail Road at Pennsylvania Station. “Fedcap gave me a wonderful learning and training opportunity, so now I can live my life in New York.”
Ms. Cortorreal was born in the Dominican Republic, one of six deaf members in her family. When she arrived in the United States eight years ago, her disability made it very difficult to find a sustainable job.
Then ACCES-VR referred her to Fedcap, where she completed custodial training and went to work on Fedcap’s NYSID contract with the LIRR at Penn Station. She has flourished and garnered attention for her exemplary work ethic and sense of humor, and her Fedcap income has helped her, her husband and their young son to move out of her mother-in-law’s house and into their own apartment in the Bronx.
Ms. Cortorreal was recently chosen from among 59 nominees to receive the 2012 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award from NYSID, a not-for-profit organization that advances employment for New Yorkers with disabilities. NYSID President and CEO Ronald P. Romano traveled from Albany to Penn Station today to present Ms. Cortorreal with a special commendation.
“Ms. Cortorreal’s story is part of the American Dream,” Fedcap Chief Operating Officer Joseph Giannetto told the crowd of well-wishers, who also included executives from the LIRR and ACCES-VR as well as Ms. Cortorreal’s supervisor and colleagues and Fedcap instructors, counselors and current trainees. “Her success shows the powerful good that comes when organizations like Fedcap, NYSID and the MTA and LIRR work together to break through barriers to economic independence.”