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Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams and Dean Pich of Goodwill Keystone receive an award from the Office Vocational Rehabilitation for their work with OVR's MY Work initiative.

CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
(717) 255-7295
[email protected]

October 27, 2022

HARRISBURG – October is National Disabled Employment Awareness Month, and the City of Harrisburg was presented an award on Thursday by members of the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for its work with disabled youth.

Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams received the award alongside Dave Baker, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities. For the last two summers, the City of Harrisburg, alongside Goodwill Keystone, and the OVR, have partnered to provide local students with disabilities opportunities to build work skills, gain employment experience, and earn a paycheck.

“This award symbolizes that the City of Harrisburg will always been inclusive to everyone,” said Mayor Williams. “When others say disabilities, we only see abilities.”

The MY Work initiative allowed these students to work side-by-side with city Parks, Recreation, and Facilities Department employees. Over 20 students participated last summer, learning vocational skills at the Martin Luther King Jr. City Government Center and along City Island.

Goodwill Keystone and OVR sponsor the young adults between the ages of 16 and 21 years old. Among their job duties included painting, gardening, and performing janitorial work around the city.

This month, we are reminded of the importance of advocating for an inclusive, equitable workforce system,” said Ryan Hyde, acting Executive Director of OVR. “The MY Work initiative not only empowers Pennsylvanians with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment, but it offers meaningful opportunities to be successful and independent. On behalf of OVR, I applaud our community partners and the high school students that make this program worthwhile.”

The City of Harrisburg plans to participate in the MY Work initiative in future years.