On October 17 the SCV Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities held an “Inclusion Drives Innovation” Continental Breakfast on the AMS campus, utilizing the AMS Learning Center classroom space. The meeting, working and teaching event was organized by the SCV Mayor’s Committee Vice Chair Vivian Kimoto and Araz Valijan with the help of Margie Melendez, assistant to AMS CEO and Chair of the Committee, Ken Wiseman.
AMS Fulfillment has long been an innovative leader in the movement to employ individuals with disabilities, recognizing that indeed, inclusion does drive innovation. Several years ago AMS initiated a program with an organization that has as its mission providing employment opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities. AMS now employs a number of adults from the program and continues to sponsor events on behalf of the SCV Mayor’s Committee.
Ken expressed the sentiment of the AMS corporate family in hiring and working with individuals with disabilities: “Some decisions are key to good business, and others are key to the heart. Our decision to hire individuals with disabilities are both rewarding for all of us and good for the business.”
The National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) breakfast meeting was successful on many levels. Works of art by young people with disabilities from Hart School District, who entered the Mayor’s Committee art contest, were displayed and winners were chosen. The winning artwork will be featured in awards that will be given at the SCV Mayor’s Committee Business Recognition Banquet, scheduled for Feb 2018.
Speakers included Ken Wiseman, Mayor’s Committee Chair; Bob Kellar, Santa Clarita Councilman; and Vivian Kimoto of the Department of Rehabilitation and Mayor’s Committee Board member and Vice Chair.
The featured speaker at the breakfast was Tom Iland, pictured above, who introduced his and his mother Emily Iland’s newly released book “Come To Life! ~ Your Guide to Self-Discovery”. Mr. Iland gave an inspiring speech about how he came from being diagnosed at age 13 with autism and is now, at age 33, a graduate of California State University Northridge, working as a CPA and motivational speaker.
AMS joins the Mayor’s Committee, guests and other speakers in a renewed commitment to inclusion. The Breakfast turned out to be an exceptional recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It was a privilege to host the event at the AMS campus.
Reflecting on the Breakfast meeting, Ken said, “It has been hard work in years past to place many individuals, but we have seen so much progress. In our experience at AMS, individuals with disabilities are excellent employees, eager to enter the workplace and demonstrate their abilities. All of us have been touched with deep appreciation.”