More than 350 Join Fedcap to Celebrate Work
Our 2011 Celebration of Work on November 28 at
the New York Public Library was a great success. More
than 350 attendees gathered to stress the importance
of work and to show appreciation for Fedcap and our
recent additions, Wildcat Service Corporation and
The Way to Work.
Click here to view/download the 2011 Celebration of Work Journal.
The fundraising gala honored those who support our work helping thousands of people overcome barriers, get jobs and move toward economic independence. Honorees included Empire BlueCross BlueShield President & CEO Mark Wagar, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, veterans’ advocate Wes Moore and ACR Electronics, Inc. For more than 40 years, ACR has licensed Fedcap to manufacture life-saving products for U.S. service-members under the federal AbilityOne Program.
Our honorees and guest dignitaries devoted their remarks to the importance of workforce development and of helping people overcome barriers to employment. In their own words, each of them underscored the critical importance of our missions and our daily work.
Here are some of their words:
Mark Wagar, accepting the Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award: “I could go on and on about the reasons why Empire should support Fedcap. … Tonight is a special night. There are no warring parties. There are no divided Congresses. There are no failed super committees. There is one organization that, person by person, puts people who don’t have a way to find a job back on the street in a productive life. … There is one thing that Americans … have a right to, that no one can dispute from the start of this country, and that is a right to opportunity. Fedcap gives people that opportunity.”
Wes Moore, accepting the Community Leadership Award: “The beauty of Fedcap is that you all understand that we can never have a genuine conversation about the future of this city, the future of this state or the future of this country if only a sliver of the population is part of that conversation. The beauty of Fedcap is that you understand that we can never have a genuine conversation about the future of this city or state or this country when only a sliver of the population is even being thought about in this conversation. … The conversation for veterans is all about PTSD and suicide rates and unemployment, and these are all very real issues. But the fact is that’s not the whole story. The fact is the skill set that these young men and women are bringing back home, the fact that they’re creative, the fact that they’re entrepreneurial, the fact that they’re fearless. These are skill sets that every single corporation, every single nonprofit, every single government agency wants in the people that are part of our teams. … Those young people who are coming out of detention facilities [and] the single mothers and the foster children … Because of people like you they’ve got an opportunity to be part of something bigger than just themselves. … Your work is crucial. Your work is not just important to the people that you’re going to serve but it’s important to our larger community because if they’re stronger, we’re all stronger. If they’re supported, we’re all supported. I’m incredibly humbled to accept this award but, to be quite honest, the real champions are you guys.”
Brian Lehrer, accepting the Excellence in Media Award: “Fedcap is doing work that was already some of the most important before the great recession and now is even more needed. At times of job shortages and labor gluts, employers have the luxury of being picky. That means more and more Americans are beginning to define themselves the way Fedcap defines the people that it serves: as Americans with barriers to employment. Today that is not just people with disabilities or people with prison records or veterans, or immigrants. That’s people who are over 50, people who are over qualified, people who are overpaid and people unemployed over six months. … More Americans than ever, if they know about Fedcap’s work, would feel in a personally connected way, not just in an abstract way, that Fedcap is performing a vitally important set of services for important individuals and groups of people in this country today. … We are at a disadvantage as people working in the media because we are working in media, people with jobs reporting about people without jobs. We have to be extra-sensitive to report in a meaningful way and to not leave the people Fedcap serves behind. … Thank you for this honor. But it is really we who should be honoring you.”
Michael Wilkerson, General Manager of ACR Electronics, Inc., accepting the Community Impact Award: “A relationship that goes back 40 years or more has got to be based on something very important to everybody involved. This relationship has been based on the idea that it creates jobs for people who need them the most. But the real success is that those jobs are being used to build products that are used by our troops every day of every year for those last 40.”