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Community Employment Banquet Honors Employees, Employers

The Vocation Station celebrated the program’s amazing success on Oct. 8 by honoring community partners with an awards banquet at the Friends Center, as well as recognizing the individuals involved in the Community Employment Program.


Honorees included:


Employer of the Year: Judge Jerry Buckler

Employee of the Year (Male): Toddy Durham

Employee of the Year (Female): Kris Shaw

Shooting Star Award: Barry Porter


The program partners community employers with individuals with developmental disabilities and are transitioning into the work force. The Community Employment Program has grown 70 percent in the last year alone, adding more employers and individuals looking for work yearly. The employers have legitimate needs in their businesses and work with job developers and job coaches at the Vocation Station to find an employee to fill that slot.


Job coaches work with the individuals to discover their interests and talents and match them with an employer in the community. And, if needed, a job coach can be a constant point of contact for both the employee and the employer. The individuals become employees in an integrated setting, earn competitive wages, and pay taxes. Most of the employees are part-time, but there are some who work full-time at their jobs.


And some, such as Toddy Durham, work multiple part-time jobs. Durham works at Sodexo, Papa John’s, and GE. His enthusiasm and dedication to the work and his community are why he was named the Employee of the Year (male) by the Community Employment Program.


Kris Shaw has worked at the Portsmouth McDonald’s for almost three decades. She has become a familiar face at the restaurant, doing her work with dedication and a smile, earning her the Employee of the Year (female) award from the Community Employment Program.


Barry Porter has gone above and beyond the call of duty as a job coach and transport at the Vocation Station. STAR, Inc., Director Kelly Hunter describes Porter as someone who is always willing and ready to do what needs to be done, even if it’s not in his job description. Porter was awarded the Shooting Star of the Year award, which recognizes staff with extreme dedication and commitment to the organization’s mission.


Scioto County Domestic Relations Judge Jerry Buckler was presented with the Employer of the Year award. Buckler partners with the program to employ Daniel Whitaker as office support and has long been a supporter of programs for people with developmental disabilities.


Do you own or manage a local business? Call the Vocation Station at (740) 353-1505 for more information on how you can be a part of the Community Employment Program.

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