Tag Archives: disability employment

AMS: Giving the Opportunity to Start

The workforce at AMS is diverse in so many ways, as it includes many individuals who, in the past, may have had difficulty obtaining employment. Our workforce includes individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, the homeless, justice-involved individuals, military veterans, seniors and single parents having difficulty retaining a job.

AMS Fulfillment has long known the value of individuals with disabilities in the workforce, and the company has enjoyed great success in working with organizations such as Pleasantview Industries.

Pleasantview has been involved in many successful placements in the SCV community for the past 13 years. The success of an AMS employee named Tim is a perfect example of how an individual with a disability can be successfully incorporated into the workforce to the benefit of the company and of the employee.

Tim had never had a job. Pleasantview connected him with AMS for an assembly line job opening. AMS CEO, Ken Wiseman, saw hiring Tim as a good business opportunity, and Tim got his first job. Pleasantview provided job coaching to Tim and on-the-job support to AMS. As with all Pleasantview clients, the job coach assisted Tim from day one. Each month as he became more proficient in his tasks, the coach decreased the time spent with him. There was no charge to AMS for the job coaching services and continued ongoing support.

Tim’s job at AMS worked out amazingly well. He always arrived on time, showed up every day, and was a hard worker. He stayed on the job for two years, until he was offered the opportunity to enroll in a machinist program. After completing the program, he is now working with a machinist company at a higher rate of pay.

Tim reported that it was his first job at AMS that gave him the confidence to try a program that would lead him to a career. He was proud of his work, both as an individual and as part of the team. Because of this job he had developed the skills and abilities to take on something new and challenging. Although the schooling was intense, he had confidence in his ability to succeed.

Of course AMS doesn’t want to see a great employee leave, but we do want to see great people grow and succeed. Tim’s success has been an inspiration to his co-workers and supervisors, and to the executives who hired him.

There are other success stories for individuals with disabilities at AMS as well. Eight years ago AMS hired an individual who has, over the years, learned and taken on every task in the warehouse with the exception of the forklift. His longevity, dedication and attitude – everything about him inspires the people who work with him. Two more employees from Pleasantview have worked at AMS for four years. They no longer need job coach support, having become completely independent employees, on time, trustworthy and an integral part of the team. They still can check in and turn to a job coach for help if they need.

When given the opportunity to start somewhere, an employee with a disability can be more than a great asset. Not only will the employer have a hardworking, loyal, on time employee, they will have lower turnover and an increase in overall morale of all employees.

AMS Fulfillment joins with the Mayor’s Committee on Employment of Individuals With Disabilities in encouraging businesses to work with organizations like Pleasantview Industries. We also encourage businesses to contact the Mayor’s Committee for information on different types of services and programs available to employers in the Santa Clarita Valley.

AMS Joins Business Leaders at Mayor’s Committee Luncheon

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.