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Elected Officials Hear About Value of 
Work from Employees

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Three legislators heard about the value of work for people with developmental disabilities when they attended an Employment First luncheon, hosted November 1st by the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities).

U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-6), State Rep. Jack Cera (96th District) and State Rep. Andy Thompson (95th District) were invited guests at the event where information was shared about Employment First, a statewide initiative that is raising expectations and making employment in the community the first and preferred option for people with developmental disabilities.

Five employers and their employees were also present. Yvette Gray and Pat Jobb, both active members of People First Belmont County, spoke about the importance they place on having a job and what it does to improve their lives.

Gray, who has been employed for 13 years at Mehlman Cafeteria, said "You can be anything you want to be, just don't let anybody sit you out."

Jobb, who has worked at Walmart for three years, said a good job means people can do and have the things they want in life.

"If you want to be independent, you've got to work," Jobb said.

The five employers - St. Clair Lanes, New Horizon Animal Hospital, Walmart, Burger King, and Mehlman Cafeteria - were lauded for seeing the value in hiring workers with disabilities and presented with US House Proclamations and Ohio House Commendations by the legislators.

Susan Pugh, Deputy Director, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities; Monty Kerr, Deputy Director, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and Pete Moore, Ohio Association of County Boards, also had remarks about the Employment First initiative and what it is doing to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

"We thank our legislators for taking time to learn why competitive jobs are so important to people with disabilities and what we are doing to locate opportunities for them to work alongside everyone else in our community," said Stephen L. Williams, BHN Alliance Superintendent. 

Employment St Clair 2013 022

US Congressman Bill Johnson and State Rep. Jack Cera and State Rep. Andy Thompson were present at the BHN Alliance's Employment First Luncheon on November 1st and took that opportunity to recognize five local businesses for hiring workers with disabilities. The elected officials heard about the value of work for people with developmental disabilities and presented US House Proclamations and Ohio House Commendations to the employers and their employees.

Congressman Bill Johnson (left) presents a U.S. House Proclamation to St. Clair Lanes employee, Jamie DeVault (center), and St. Clair owner, Gary Holubeck, recognizing the business for hiring workers with disabilities.

Employment Burger King 2013 012 Burger King manager Lisa Lucas (center) and employee Ronda Canter listen as Congressman Bill Johnson reads the Proclamation honoring Burger King for hiring workers with disabilities
Yvette Gray spoke about the importance of work for people with disabilities at the Employment First Luncheon and then accepted the US House Proclamation from Congressman Bill Johnson and Ohio House Commendation on behalf of her employer, Mehlman Cafeteria. Pictured, from left: State Rep. Jack Cera; State Rep. Andy Thompson; Yvette Gray; and Mehlman owner, Jay Mehlman.
New Horizon Animal Hospital employee Amanda Willis (center) and office manager, Lesley Applegarth listen as Congressman Johnson reads from the Proclamation he wrote honoring New Horizon for hiring workers with disabilities.
Walmart at St. Clairsville was honored by the three elected officials pictured here following the presentations made at the Employment First Luncheon on November 1st. From left: Congressman Bill Johnson, State Rep. Jack Cera, State Rep. Andy Thompson, Walmart employee Pat Jobb and Walmart General Manager Dean Holtsclaw.

 

 


 

DiLeo Delivers Compelling Message on Employment

  DiLeo 2013 NR
  Dale DiLeo (center) was the keynote speaker at the BHN Alliance's Fall In-Service held October 18th at Ohio University Eastern, St. Clairsville. Pictured with DiLeo are Kristen Helling, Employment First Project Manager for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and Stephen Williams, Superintendent of the BHN Alliance. Helling gave a presentation on Ohio's Employment First initiative.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Nationally-recognized author and disability consultant Dale DiLeo delivered a compelling message on the benefits of community employment for people with developmental disabilities when he spoke at the BHN Alliance's Fall In-service on October 18, 2013. Nearly 200 people representing the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities), providers, educators and others attended the in-service held at Ohio University Eastern, St. Clairsville.

Employment First is the initiative that was launched by Governor John Kasich that made community employment the preferred outcome for people with developmental disabilities.

"We need to graduate kids into jobs," DiLeo said, adding that each person should be asked what kind of job he or she wants when considering life after high school.

He urged those present to expect people with disabilities to have a skill that can be used at a real job in the community. He added that when people are given opportunities to work alongside others, they rise to the level of expectation of their employer.

DiLeo is the author of Raymond's Room, the critically-acclaimed book about ending segregation of people with disabilities. His most recent publication is Employment First: Building a Culture That Expects Job Success.

 

 

 

 

 


 

BHN Alliance Receives Grant


ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Ohio Departments of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health and Addiction Services presented a grant award today (August 14, 2013) to the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities) and the Belmont-Harrison-Monroe Mental Health and Recovery Board that will enable this partnership to create a coordinated plan of care for at-risk youth with a developmental disability or mental illness.

DD MH Grant 2013 017John Martin (second from left), Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, traveled to southeastern Ohio on August 14th to announce a $500,000 grant to the BHN Alliance and the Belmont-Harrison-Monroe Mental Health and Recovery Board. The grant will enable the partners to create a coordinated plan of care for at-risk youth with a developmental disability or mental illness. Pictured with the Director are grant partners, Helen Ring (left), Superintendent of the Monroe County Board of DD; Linda Pickenpaugh, Executive Director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board; and Stephen Williams, Superintendent of the BHN Alliance

John Martin, Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, announced the $500,000 grant to over 40 people who gathered at the offices of Southeast, Inc., St. Clairsville.

Martin said 38 proposals were submitted in the Strong Families, Safe Communities project and only seven were awarded grants.

"Congratulations on the excellent proposal you put together and the impact it will have on families," Martin said.

He noted that the local proposal was strong because of the current relationship between the partners.

"You were already working together, taking steps to move forward and this gave you a leg up on a lot of proposals we saw," Martin added.

The local partners will use the funding to create a team approach across all agencies to serve children and youth who have intense service needs due to a mental illness or developmental disability.

In addition to Director Martin, speakers included BHN Alliance Superintendent Stephen Williams and Linda Pickenpaugh, Executive Director of the Mental Health and Recovery Board.

Pickenpaugh noted that the strongest part of the local proposal is the collaboration that already exists between the partners.

"I guarantee you that the money will be centered around the kids," Pickenpaugh said, adding that the goal is to avoid out-of-home placements.

Williams noted the grant puts resources in place to serve families effectively close to home.

"We will be able to offer in familiar surroundings what children in crisis need," Williams said. "Parents will no longer have to endure separation from their child at a time when they need love and support the most."

The grant will fund intensive care coordination, crisis stabilization and treatment, therapeutic mentoring, and family respite and support for children in Belmont, Harrison, Noble, and Monroe counties.

Strong Families, Safe Communities is funded by Governor Kasich's initiative to commit money from Ohio's Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) awards to develop targeted strategies to stabilize youth in crisis and develop long-term treatment plans that help children and their families live happy and healthy lives.
The three county boards of developmental disabilities that make up the BHN Alliance are the primary funders of support for more than 700 children and adults with developmental disabilities in Belmont, Harrison and Noble Counties. The Belmont-Harrison-Monroe Mental Health & Recovery Board is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services in Belmont, Harrison and Monroe counties.

 


BOARD WELCOMES NEWEST MEMBER

Philip J. Andes of Shadyside was welcomed as the newest member of the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities at its meeting on February 14th. Andes was appointed by the county commissioners to a four-year term that will run through December 31, 2016.

Andes is president of the Andes Insurance Agency in Shadyside. He served two terms as president of the Independent Insurance Agents Association and has served as secretary/treasurer of the association for 30 years. He has held various leadership positions within the Lions Club, where he served as president and treasurer as well as District Zone Chairman. He is a member of the Shadyside Masonic Lodge and serves as treasurer of the Ohio Valley Friends of NRA.

At the Board's re-organizational meeting in January, Marlin Harper was elected president, Cynthia Touvelle, vice-president, and Annette Wiater, secretary.
The Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. in the Board offices at 330 Fox-Shannon Place, St. Clairsville.

 

 

 

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