Recently AMS joined SCV business and political leaders at the Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals With Disabilities Annual Luncheon, held at the College of the Canyons Culinary Institute. The February 22 event was highly anticipated, very successful, well attended by the community, offering an excellent meal, and some teaching moments for the Committee.
Ken Wiseman, CEO of AMS and Chair of the Committee, introduced the program, which began with encouraging words from SCV Mayor Laurene Weste. The first high point of the program was when Mayor Weste introduced Stephanie Kamel, 1st place winner in the 2017 Art Contest for Students with Disabilities. Stephanie received resounding applause for her artwork, which was the award being presented.
The main highlight of the event was a slide presentation by Committee Board Member Charlene Lowe, who introduced the ‘Bias Buster’ theme. Some of her Key points were:
Everyone has biases; it’s part of being human. It’s important not to be ashamed of this basic fact. If you have a brain, you have bias. •Even a tiny bit of bias can have big consequences. •Unconscious bias against people with disabilities appears to be higher than with any other group. •Real impacts: The employment rate for people with disabilities in California is much lower than the employment rate for people without disabilities. •The outcome of reducing bias is improved quality of decisions. First step: •Hold yourself accountable. •Empower everyone to call out unconscious bias. •Commit to One Action: Be prepared: Change your language, listen positively! Be visible: Join a group, get a sticker, wear a t-shirt! Bring it up: Share articles and stories, start conversations to educate others.
Other board members including Ken Wiseman, Tom Iland, and Scott Shepard also joined in presenting real life examples of biases they had observed.
The Mayor’s Committee presented awards to twelve organizations recognized as having provided employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities. The Committee then awarded companies that had directly supported their efforts to get out and meet with potential employers. AMS Fulfillment was among the organizations receiving awards. Other recipients included: the City of Santa Clarita, Boston Scientific, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, College of the Canyons, Jersey Mike’s, Neo Tech, Cardinal Health, Pacific Lock, Princess Cruises, and Lowes Santa Clarita Store #1510.
AMS Fulfillment is proud to support the work of the Mayor’s Committee, and appreciative of the Committee Members who put great effort into this work throughout the year: Ken Wiseman, Charlene Lowe, Scott Shepard, Tom Iland, and Araz Valijan.