News from Fedcap

Fedcap Honors 300 Graduates and Notable Individuals Who Have Made a Significant Commitment to People with Disabilities at its 75th Anniversary Graduation Celebration June 22 in Manhattan

Contact: Tavish Donahue / Fedcap / 212.727.4324 

Jose Gutierrez, a Custodian at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to be Honored with the William Usdane Award from the Federal AbilityOne Program

Iris Allen, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for New York State’s VESID Agency to Receive Fedcap’s Excellence in Vocational Rehabilitation Award

NEW YORK, June 18, 2010 – Fedcap Rehabilitation Services will honor graduates of its vocational training programs at a graduation celebration also marking Fedcap’s 75th anniversary on June 22 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will take place at Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library and Museum at 225 Madison Ave at 36th Street in Manhattan. The 2010 commencement address will be delivered by The Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, United States District Judge, Eastern District of New York. The ceremony will also feature remarks from Mark O’Donoghue, Chair of Fedcap’s Board of Directors.

The 300 Fedcap graduates have completed vocational training programs in a variety of disciplines including Culinary Arts, Custodial, Data Entry, Hospitality, Mailroom Services, Office Skills, and Home Health Care. Most of Fedcap’s students have significant disabilities or come from disadvantaged backgrounds that have kept them out of the economic mainstream. Fedcap’s mission is to empower people with barriers to move towards economic independence as valued members of the workforce. Each year Fedcap’s evaluation, vocational training, job placement and counseling services, and support and advocacy programs help more than 2,000 Americans overcome obstacles, rebuild their lives, and find and keep meaningful employment. 

“Our 2010 graduation celebration is a wonderful opportunity to honor all the graduates who have completed Fedcap’s training programs over the past year and the instructors, counselors, and job developers who have helped them achieve a new level of success and prepared them to enter the workforce,” said O’Donoghue. “We are incredibly proud of all of them for completing this journey.”

“We also salute the many employers who work with Fedcap. Our graduates’ journey does not end with the completion of their training,” said Christine McMahon, Fedcap’s President and CEO. “We measure success by how many graduates are able to find and sustain employment so that they can attain economic independence.”

During the ceremony a special presentation will be made to Jose Gutierrez, the winner of the 2010 Usdane Award from the federal AbilityOne program. AbilityOne manages Fedcap’s Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island historical monument contract site where Mr. Gutierrez, who is deaf, has worked as a custodian since graduating from Fedcap several years ago. Bob Sullivan, Executive Director of the AbilityOne program’s east region, will present the award to Mr. Gutierrez on behalf of AbilityOne.

Another special guest receiving an award is Iris Allen, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the Queens office of VESID (New York State’s Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities). Ms. Allen will be presented with Fedcap’s Excellence in Vocational Rehabilitation award. She was chosen by Fedcap’s counselors for her dedication to her clients and creative approach.

Fedcap’s vocational training programs help eliminate barriers to work by equipping all students with the in-demand skills they need to be competitive candidates for jobs in their chosen field. The 2010 graduates have benefited from an expanded job placement program which provides all graduates with the services of a job developer to help them compete successfully for employment both through Fedcap and in the private sector. This year’s student speakers include Home Health Aide Ericka Miller; Culinary Arts graduate Carlton Robinson who works as a cook at Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and Pret a Manger; and Damien Minus, an Office Skills graduate currently employed as a data entry clerk at Fedcap.

The graduation program will also feature a traditional presentation of diplomas and performances by the Fedcap Choir.