Red Bank, NJ – Family Resource Associates (FRA) is celebrating the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), as well as the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by highlighting its many programs that help increase opportunities to those with developmental or acquired disAbilities. “Throughout the year, FRA continually applauds workers with disAbilities and reminds employers of the importance of inclusive hiring practices,” said Phill Duck, the Director of EmployAbility at FRA.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that “Increasing Access and Opportunity” is the 2020 theme for October’s annual observance of NDEAM. “Ensuring that America’s workplaces continue to include and accommodate people with disabilities will be an important part of our economic rebound,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia in a press release. “Looking ahead, the Department will remain focused on the policies that led to a strong economy and record-low unemployment rates for persons with disabilities prior to the pandemic. A vigorous economic rebound and job growth will, alongside the Americans with Disabilities Act, increase access and opportunity for Americans with disabilities.”
FRA offers EmployAbility services to prepare individuals with disAbilities for success in integrated and competitive employment. Tyler Swiggart, a Job Developer for FRA’s EmployAbility Program, said that it is exciting to see how many job seekers are looking to return to work. “With these new challenges brought by the pandemic, everyone on our staff is thinking in more creative ways,” he said. “Many people were not only getting job interviews, but also landing jobs. The reopening has been very exciting so far and it has only just begun.”
Tom Monaco, who serves on the FRA EmployAbility Committee, is also moving forward in stride. “I’m honored and very proud to serve on the FRA EmployAbility Committee,” said Monaco. “I work with an absolutely fantastic volunteer and staff team that’s dedicated to providing support and services to job seekers and FRA clients that are currently employed.”
In his short time on the committee, Monaco, alongside FRA’s Phill Duck, launched a monthly Job Club. Monaco and Duck conduct monthly meetings during which participants listen and speak with guests about anything and everything related to employment. “Phill and I led the first meeting this past June in the middle of COVID-19 and have since had guest speakers from the United States Air Force, the South Plainfield Fire Department and Google,” said Monaco. “Although we envisioned having face to face meetings, we obviously had to strategize after the outbreak. We are both looking forward to meeting the participants onsite for a group discussion and pizza in the future.” FRA anticipates growing this program for the future.
Monaco would love to continue to educate Job Club participants on the value of digital tools (such as LinkedIn) and resources so that they have effective strategies at their disposal for self-promotion, searching for jobs and building professional networks. “I want to give a huge thanks to the entire FRA EmployAbility Committee for allowing me the opportunity to participate in their program,” Monaco added. “Special thanks to Phill Duck whose work ethic and commitment to FRA are a personal inspiration to me. I look forward to seeing how much we can accomplish as a team in the future.”
Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH is also in full swing for the 2020-2021 calendar year. The 10-month internship program, led by FRA, started on September 1 and is for individuals with disAbilities in their last year of school through early adulthood. Eight interns have been accepted into this year’s program, which will take place at Monmouth Medical Center. Each intern will participate in three unpaid internships to explore a variety of career paths, with the support and direction of the FRA employAbility staff.
“All of the interns have a common set of interests, they are excited for new beginnings, a chance to gain independence, learn new skills, meet new people and make new friendships,” said Jessica Hamburg, FRA’s Project SEARCH Instructor. The ultimate goal of the program is to find employment for each intern, because they have been fully prepared for success in an integrated, competitive environment through participating in Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH.
To learn more about FRA – PossAbilities for People with disAbilities, please visit www.frainc.org or call 732-747-5310. To learn more about NDEAM, visit www.dol.gov/ndeam.
About Family Resource Associates
Family Resource Associates, Inc. (FRA) is a 501(c)(3) in Monmouth County helping children, adolescents and people of all ages with disAbilities to reach their fullest potential. FRA connects individuals to independence through specialized therapies and advanced technology. Acknowledging the powerful influence of the family, we remain committed to them by offering both support and education.
FRA assists individuals of all ages who have developmental delays or disAbilities as well as acquired disAbilities. FRA provides home-based early intervention for infants, therapeutic recreation programs, pre-vocational and educational classes for adults, employAbility training and job coaching, along with family and sibling support groups.
TECHConnection, a signature program of FRA, leverages technology to help increase, maintain or improve the capabilities of individuals with disAbilities as a result of accident, injury, illness or aging as well as related issues affecting hearing, vision, reading or mobility. To learn more, visit frainc.org.
Federal Tax ID # 22-2285850 – NJ Charity Registration # CH0232800
Suggested photo caption:
FRA celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Pictured: One of our Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH interns engaged in food service.