First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
The Pasadena Civitan Club presented its annual “Hire Up” Employer Recognition awards to businesses that have made extraordinary efforts to hire persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mayor Victor Gordo joined with the club in honoring these businesses on Oct. 14.
This year’s winners were Michaels, Smart and Final, and Home Depot. Civitan International’s Servant’s Heart Award was presented to former Mayor Bill Bogaard for his continuing and substantial commitment to increasing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
The 92-year-old Civitan Club’s primary mission is to increase employment opportunities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The city of Pasadena partners in these efforts, including recognizing the federal designation of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Civitan Club President Chris Otero expressed thanks to Gordo. “We are happy to join with the city of Pasadena in addressing a critical need in Pasadena. All of our citizens who have the skills and the desire to work have a right to participate in competitive employment opportunities.”
Pasadena Civitan Club collaborates with the two major service agencies that train and support persons seeking employment. Villa Esperanza Services and AbilityFirst, both headquartered in Pasadena, have programs that train potential employees and provide services to Pasadena employers.
This year’s event was held at the Villa Esperanza Services campus. Attendees included Civitan regional and district officers, city council members, executives, commissioners from the Accessibility and Disability Commission, Pasadena employers, friends, and supporters.
The Pasadena Civitan Club, part of Civitan International, is a service club founded in 1929 that focuses on service to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was the primary founder of Villa Esperanza Services and FVO Solutions (formerly Foothill Vocational Opportunities), which recently merged with AbilityFirst.
For more information, visit PasadenaCivitan.weebly.com.