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November 2017
Top Headlines:
UCP of Long Island Debuts The Employment Connection Mobile Training and Education Center

The Employment Connection Success Story: Patricia Menge

Building New Family Traditions

Life Without Limits Gala Raises Over $200,000 for UCP of Long Island
Creating Life Without Limits
For People With Disabilities
UCP of Long Island Debuts
The Employment Connection Mobile Training & Education Center
 L to R: The Employment Connection Client Paul, Camille Schramm, Director of Development & Public Relations at UCP of Long Island, Diane Serenita, Assistant Director of Development at UCP, Legislator Bridget Fleming, James Manseau, Vice President and Chief Retail Banking Officer at Bridgehampton National Bank and a UCP Board Member, Kevin O'Connor, President & CEO of Bridgehampton National Bank and
The Employment Connection Client Jeffrey (front)
UCP of Long Island partnered with Bridgehampton National Bank to unveil The Employment Connection Mobile Training & Education Center, a fully accessible vehicle that provides career services to workers with disabilities who lack easy access to transportation. The van was debuted at Bridgehampton National Bank's headquarters on October 13th.

UCP staff, clients of The Employment Connection, Bridgehampton National Bank representatives and Legislator Bridget Fleming gathered to celebrate the unveiling of the one-of-a kind center.

"Programs like The Employment Connection Mobile Training & Education Center make a difference in people's lives," Kevin O'Connor, President & CEO of Bridgehampton National Bank said. "It's exciting to unveil the van right here in Bridgehampton."

The Employment Connection Mobile Training & Education Center was obtained through a New York State Grant. At the center, workers with disabilities have an opportunity to learn about positions that are available, use computers to search for job openings, prepare resumes with assistance, conduct career assessments, record and review mock interviews on video, as well as view webinar and job information on a large-screen TV.

The vehicle allows The Employment Connection Staff to meet with individuals with disabilities and employers at job fairs, libraries, trade shows and individuals' jobs.

The center also assists companies looking to meet their diversity needs by connecting them to job seekers with disabilities across Long Island.

Jeffrey, a client of The Employment Connection, has been using the services of the van for job leads and to enhance his interview skills. "I'm very lucky to have this kind of help," he smiled.

For sponsorship opportunities contact
the Office of Development at 631-232-0015.
The Employment Connection Success Story: Patricia Menge
October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a month long opportunity to educate our community about disability employment issues and celebrate the many contributions of American workers with disabilities. 

Patricia Menge, a client of The Employment Connection for more than 20 years, credits the program in helping her maintain a blossoming career that she loves.

The Employment Connection at UCP provides employment related services leading to competitive community employment for people with disabilities. The Employment Connection assists individuals in preparing for employment while still in school, helps individuals to locate jobs based on their specific skills and interests, practice interview skills and change careers due to an acquired disability. Workers are offered job coaches who will support newly hired employees as they acclimate into their new workforce culture. 

Patricia currently works as an Operations Clerk at People's Alliance Federal Credit Union, a job she has held for over 20 years.

"Before I was hired by People's Alliance, The Employment Connection helped me secure a job with an insurance company," Patricia explained. "After four years, I was laid off from that company and The Employment Connection helped me get a position with my current employer after only one month."

The Employment Connection helped Patricia revise her resume as well as refresh her interviewing skills. "My job coaches have done a lot for me," Patricia declared. "They really encouraged me to look at different job opportunities out there and followed up to ensure that I was satisfied and thriving in my role."

"Patricia is very consistent and focus-driven," Job Coach Laura Beitchman declared. "I am very proud of all that she has accomplished."

After so many years, Patricia still enjoys her job. "I love the people and I learn something new everyday," she said. "I have a career that I love and I feel as if I am contributing to something important."
Building New Family Traditions
Artist Janine with her mother Ann Lamia (right), her niece Kaitlyn Totter and husband, Michael Totter
Janine with her niece, Lauren Skidgell, and her husband, Jason Skidgell
Janine, one of the original members of The Brushstrokes Program, has started a tradition of painting gorgeous pieces of artwork as wedding gifts for her nieces and nephews.

"They really treasure these paintings," said Ann Lamia, Janine's mother. "They are special gifts from their aunt that they can admire forever."

Janine presented paintings to her nephew, Larry Johnston and her nieces, Lauren Skidgell and Kaitlyn Totter as a way to celebrate a new and exciting chapter in their lives.

Skidgell, who married her sweetheart, Jason, on July 29th, asked her wedding guests to make a donation to UCP of Long Island as a gift to her and her new husband. A week before their wedding, Janine gave her painting to the newlyweds.

“We are so thankful for this beautiful piece of art,” Lauren smiled. “The Brushstrokes Program is just perfect for her. She really loves being at UCP.”

The Brushstrokes Program, is a vehicle that allows individuals to express themselves through painting. Janine has been in the program for several years and her artwork has been featured in community exhibits and at the agency's special events.

"Janine has really blossomed as an artist and The Brushstrokes Program played a large part in that," Ann expressed. "It is really a beautiful program."

Hundreds Celebrate UCP of Long Island's Mission
at Life Without Limits Gala
Over 250 friends and supporters of UCP of Long Island gathered to celebrate the agency's mission
at the Life Without Limits Gala at Flowerfield in St. James, NY on October 27, 2017. This year's event honored Kevin M. O'Connor, President & CEO of Bridgehampton National Bank. The event raised over $200,000.

The funds raised will support the comprehensive programs and services that UCP of Long Island provides to thousands of children and adults with disabilities.
L to R: Senator Thomas Croci, Honoree Kevin O’Connor, Master of Ceremonies Doug Geed, Anchor and Reporter for News 12 Long Island and Stephen H. Friedman, President & CEO of UCP of Long Island
UCP of Long Island Artist Michelle 
with Honoree Kevin O’Connor Board Chair Thomas Pfundstein (middle) and Michelle’s parents,
Jim and Kathy
Honoree Kevin O'Connor and his sons,
William and Jack
The Children’s Center’s Ukelele Club 
performed to the delight of the audience
To view more photos of the evening please  click here .