Two Oklahoma City firms were honored March 28 with the 2016 Employment Partner of the Year award during the People with Disabilities Awareness Day event at the Oklahoma state Capitol.
Dale Rogers Training Center and the Federal Aviation Administration Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center were chosen by Vocational Rehabilitation staff of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services to receive the honor.
DRS Interim Director Noel Tyler said the two firms were outstanding partners who showed commitment to hiring the agency’s clients with disabilities. The workers who are employed by Dale Rogers Training Center are subcontracted through Source America under a federal Ability One custodial services contract. Seventy-five percent, or 30 of the 45 employees, are people with disabilities.
“The Federal Aviation Administration partners with Dale Rogers Training Center to employ the workers at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City,” Tyler said. “The employees work independently and are held to the same high performance standards as any other contractor. The workers earn the federal minimum wage of $10.19 per hour on these amazing jobs, which include health and welfare benefits, and are respected and appreciated by co-workers at the aeronautical center.”
The People with Disabilities event drew more than 800 Oklahomans with disabilities and their supporters who flooded the Oklahoma state Capitol.
This year’s theme “Engage and Empower” was a call to Oklahomans with disabilities, their families and their supporters to engage Lawmakers, sharing the stories of their disability and the challenges they face. The event is aimed at boosting self-advocacy skills of people with disabilities, helping Legislators understand what programs are vital to people with disabilities in finding jobs and leading independent lives.
Other awards handed out at the event included:
- Client of the Year -- Bud Averyt, of Chelsea
- Transition Client of the Year -- Erica Linn Cornelius, of Meeker
- Student of the Year -- Kaylee Ragon, of Tecumseh
- Legislator of the Year -- Rep. Pat Ownbey (HD 48), of Ardmore
- Transition Employment Partner of the Year -- Embassy Suites
- Access for All Partner of the Year -- ABLE Tech -- Linda Jaco, Rob Carr and Brenda Dawes, of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin delivered the keynote address of the event, saying the state Legislature was facing a challenging budget year, and she had submitted ideas to increase revenues that included a modernization of the state’s sales tax system. She said her proposals were a starting point, and she challenged lawmakers to come up with their own ideas if they do not like hers.