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Showing posts from June, 2016

Project SEARCH Graduation in Norfolk

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Our very own Ericka Neville from The Choice Group- Hampton Roads is giving the commencement for the most recent graduates from the Project SEARCH internship program at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Project SEARCH is a nation-wide program that enables Career Development post-grads to intern in various work environments.
Locally it is operated as a joint effort between the Norfolk Public Schools’ Department of Learning Support and Special Education Services and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
The ultimate goal is to help those student find future employment opportunities.

Justin's Success Story!

My client, Justin, works at Walmart in Locust Grove, VA as a Maintenance Associate. Justin has worked at Walmart since it’s opening in July 2013. I started working with Justin when I joined The Choice Group in September 2013 and have continued to work with him through Follow-Along checks each month. Justin has chronic kidney failure and a Specific Learning Disability, which has presented some challenges with maintaining employment. Due to the kidney failure, Justin is unable to work in extreme heat and drinks water throughout his work shifts to maintain his health. When completing computer-based training, as required by his employer, Justin requires my assistance with reading and comprehension of information. Justin is a care-free individual, with high motivation to work, and a desire to contribute to society. Because of his positive, go-getter attitude, Justin comes to Walmart to work even on days that he is not scheduled. He lives in a neighborhood directly behind Walmart, making it…

Tim Wright & The Farm Fresh Family!

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Tim is one of the best clients and people you are ever likely to meet. He is kind, respectful, incredibly hardworking and motivated. Tim has been voted Employee of the Month by his coworkers TWICE now— he just was voted again this past week!
Tim is a Courtesy Clerk at Farm Fresh. He bags groceries, collects carts, assists customers to their cars, runs items back to shelves that customers decide not to buy, and does light cleaning. In addition, he will help out wherever needed in the store.
When first starting to work with Tim, one area we focused on was interviewing skills.  During Job Development, I worked with him on building his confidence, practicing answers to interview questions and helping him get over his nervousness.  He was always on time for meetings and appointments during Job Development and always checked in weekly.
When we came across the Farm Fresh position, Tim wasn’t sure he would be good at collecting carts.  Initially, with the Manager’s approval, we started with …

Photo Highlights of Special Olympics Virginia 2016!

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Here are some great photo highlights of this year's Special Olympics Virginia that took place last weekend at the University of Richmond's Robins Stadium!


























Small Business Tax Benefits for Inclusive Hiring

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There are many incentives and benefits across the board for small businesses to hire with diversity in mind.  This is a great guide to some potential tax benefits to hiring workers with disabilities and even includes a resource list to help you approximate tax credits!

Tax Credits for Hiring Workers With Disabilities
By: Paul Chaney

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and create 65 percent of new net jobs, according to the Small Business Administration (PDF).

How can small businesses, facing constant financial pressure and increasing government regulations, ensure continued growth? One way is to hire people with disabilities.
To help employers capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities can offer, the Federal Government offers three types of tax credits: Disabled Access Credit, Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction and Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Disabled Access Credit

The Disabled Access Credit — a non-refundable annual tax credit for m…

Special Olympics Virginia!

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Friday June 10th through Saturday June 11th are the Summer Special Olympics Games of Virginia!

1500 champions will go for gold in bocce, swimming, softball, track & field, bowling, and tennis. Plus, we’ll light the Olympic Cauldron, welcome hundreds of new volunteers to our family, and showcase some of Richmond’s top talent - American Idol finalist Rayvon Owen - at the first-ever outdoor Opening Ceremony at the University of Richmond Robins Stadium.  For more details on Summer Games please click here. Click here to download the Summer Games 2016 Event Guide.

Your applause and encouragement are an important part of our athletes’ experience and make Summer Games more fun for everyone involved. So cheer your heart out-SIDE! Sign up at www.volunteertocheer.com!

A Quality Product With Dedicated Employees Is Just Good Business!

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At The Choice Group, we love to hear success stories just like this and strive to create a few of our own!  More and more, business owners are opening their doors to the idea of hiring workers with disabilities due to the skills and dedication they bring to the table.  There have been numerous findings that hiring with diversity in mind, like hiring someone with a disability, creates an inclusive atmosphere in the workplace which ultimately benefits everyone.  We hope to expand the amount of businesses in Richmond who have this mindset and model for their company's success, one example being Max's Postive Vibes Cafe.  We hope lots of business owners find inspiration with this story!



Business Built Around Workers With Disabilities Expanding
By: Paul Owers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — John D’Eri opened Rising Tide Car Wash in 2013, convinced that a business whose primary mission of employing adults with autism would be a financial success.

Three years later, Rising Tide continues in P…