Vernon Downs named ARC Employer of the Year

Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel will receive the 2009 Employer of the Year Award from Madison Cortland ARC. This award is given annually to a business that provides equal opportunity employment and demonstrates an outstanding commitment to people with disabilities.

The award will be presented to Vernon Down's Executive Chef John Ruszala and Human Resources Recruitment Coordinator Elaine Evans at the agency's Annual Dinner & Award Presentation to be held at the Kallet Civic Center in Oneida on Friday, June 5.

"It's a huge honor to receive this award," Ruszala said. "It has been very enjoyable to work with the AVS program. The job coaches work closely with us here at Vernon Downs as well their clients, making it a very successful situation for us both."

"We have been very pleased with our partnership with the ARC," said Director of Food and Beverage Robert Finster, "The employees from AVS have been an asset to our department."

Vernon Downs has been a long-time partner of ARC's Alternatives Vocational Services (AVS) program. AVS assists individuals with disabilities in securing and maintaining community-based employment by providing job development, job coaching and other services. This allows employees the opportunity for increased wages and greater independence.

"Even in this difficult economic environment, Vernon Downs has been a consistent and reliable partner with AVS. They have continued to hire new supported employees, and have always shown a willingness to accommodate individualized needs, working with AVS staff to develop each employee's strengths," said Jim Thompson, Vocational Services Manager at Alternatives Vocational Services.

"Vernon Downs has shown exemplary flexibility with the needs of the people we serve. They have bent over backwards to accommodate employee's restrictive schedules and transportation issues," said Kaylee Matthews, AVS Employment Specialist.

"The communication between Vernon Downs Managers and AVS Employment Specialists has been outstanding along with their willingness to handle the unexpected situations and issues that often occur with the people we serve," said Catherine Vincent, AVS Employment Specialist.

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