OU Announces Job Fair for Special Needs Candidates, 3/7
The first-ever Yachad Job Fair, to provide greater employment opportunities for people with special needs, and presented in conjunction with the OU Job Board | Employment and Resumé Opportunities, will be held on Monday, March 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 40 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan, near OU headquarters. The program was originally scheduled for November 8, but was postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Yachad, the flagship program of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), provides unique social, educational and recreational programs for individuals with learning, developmental and physical disabilities with the goal of their Inclusion in the total life of the Jewish community.
The Job Board is now recruiting companies in the Tri-State area looking to hire capable individuals with special needs seeking gainful employment. The Job Fair’s aim is to connect these individuals with some of the leading employers in the New York area.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, National Director of Yachad, “Yachad has broken many barriers for people with disabilities, from putting Inclusion on the community agenda to creating inclusive programs around the world. The glass ceiling that remains is in the area of jobs. Almost three-quarters of adults with a disability in the United States are unemployed or underemployed. This needs to change!”
“Work is much more than a pay check,” Dr. Lichtman emphasized. “It is normalization, self-esteem, self-growth, and integration. And so Yachad/NJCD is committed to creating solutions to this major challenge. Among these solutions is the Job Fair, the brainchild of Jack Gourdji, Executive Director of our partner, the Jewish Union Foundation (JUF), whose mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, by making them as independent and as productive in society as possible. The Yachad Job Fair is one way to introduce major businesses to the talent, skills, and loyalty that people with special needs can bring into the work place.”
OU Job Board Director Michael Rosner declared, “This Job Fair gives us an opportunity to fill positions that are not ordinarily affordable for a larger family. Clerical, messengers, shipping, data entry etc., all fit well with this hard-working populace. These jobs fit in nicely with what the employer is looking to pay and what the job seeker is expecting. It’s a great mesh.”
According to Mr. Rosner, who formerly was in business, “Many of my former colleagues in the watch and jewelry industry use special needs people all the time. I also had a special needs person working for me for well over 10 years. I found it to be a wise decision as this population is very reliable, conscientious, hard working and eager to get the job done. They are always on time and always willing to give a hand.”
He explained that the Job Board and JUF are recruiting potential employers through “their usual tried and true methods of social media and direct mail. We are also reaching out to individual companies we may know looking to fill these type of positions.”
“It is not mandatory for job seekers with special needs attending the Fair to prepare a professional resumé,” Mr. Rosner advised, “yet a simple resumé noting their background and references (including someone who may assist them with guidance on their career paths) is strongly encouraged.”
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