ROCHESTER N.Y. — October is Developmental Disabilities Employment month.

This month and throughout the year, th Arc is committed to enhancing employment opportunities for those with disabilities. 

“Having an inclusive hiring and having a diverse work force is a win-win situation for them and as well as for the person as well as for the community,” says Scott Russo, manager of the Arc of Monroe County’s Job Path Program.

The program is designed to provide community-wide access to services, to ensure job applicants with disabilities receive equal employment opportunities.

“My main function is to acclimate them into their new position, making sure they understand the position and are able to do it,” says Employee Specialist Bob Moriarty. He adds that the Arc alleviates the pressures of those current and future employees.

New business owner Robert Long says he hired his first full-time employee at Flour City Growlers through the Arc's Job Path Program.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better employee,” says Long. “I’ve seen employees in other places so I kind of had a bar of what things should be, but no it’s been above and beyond my expectations. It’s worked out really, really well. I couldn’t be happier.”

Long says that the employee started out with 16 hours per week and more than a year later, works over 30 hours per week. He says he would have never guessed it would have worked out so well.

 “The program is giving me the opportunity to see that there’s people from all sorts of different backgrounds and circumstances and abilities that can do a job perfectly well, as anybody else,” says Long.

The Arc supports over 1,700 people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities, 400 of which are currently in the employment program.

Through continuous assistance with on-the-job check-ins, the program is said to ensure job satisfaction and success through both employee and employer.