Best Buddies Virginia & DC’s First Annual Employer Partner Celebration
Being a Best Buddies Employer Partner is about more than offering work to a Jobs participant. It is about employees and management truly embracing the mission of inclusive workplaces and giving dedicated new employees with developmental disabilities a chance to succeed. Our annual Best Buddies Employer Partner Celebration, graciously hosted by our friends at Capital One, gathered employers, supervisors, jobs participants and families to celebrate a year of inclusive hiring.
We recognized two companies for their efforts to create inclusive workplaces and celebrate supported employment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the Best Buddies Jobs program.
Wegmans Food Markets at Tysons has had a longstanding partnership with Best Buddies at Virginia and DC. They embrace the mission of having an inclusive workplace which comes from everyone at Wegmans Tysons: leadership, management, and colleagues. With their “what more can we do” attitude, Wegmans has provided water and snacks for our Friendship Walk and created connections on all levels. Through it all, they provided our Best Buddies participant, Drew, with not just a place to work, but a workplace he could thrive in. Store Manager Drease Yarboro accepted the Employer of the Year award and thanked Drew and his family, who were in the audience, and everyone on the Wegmans team, emphasizing that at Wegmans – they are a family working together.
Adam Giere, Assistant Manager at Navy Federal Credit Union, was awarded the Supervisor of the Year. When Best Buddies participant Terrence accepted a new position with Navy Federal Credit Union, Adam joined him and his Best Buddies Employment Consultant through the entire onboarding process, going above and beyond. Adam accompanied Terrence and explained, “this is just how my team works, we would all support each other.” Adam brings a spirit of community, care, patience, and understanding to his team – and intentionally added accommodations for Terrence without hesitation, giving Terrence the chance to quickly assimilate to the team. Adam graciously accepted the Supervisor of the Year award with Terrance at his side, and stated, “in my 20-year career, supervising Terrence is the most impactful experience I have had.”
Tommy McFly, our Board Emeritus, emceed the Employer event. In the middle of the event, Best Buddies Jobs participant, Hannah spoke about her employment journey, and her excitement to have achieved a job as a Facilities Coordinator for JLL at Amazon. Hannah’s coworkers came to cheer her on and celebrate her success.
In 2011, Best Buddies Jobs launched in the Virginia & DC office, creating opportunities for integrated employment for people with IDD. Over the last few years, we have developed relationships with almost 50 companies and organizations; and currently support 45 jobs participants in integrated employment.
To learn more on how to get involved with our Jobs program, e-mail Caroline Fleury (Program Supervisor, Jobs) at CarolineFleury@bestbuddies.org.