13 Arc CollegeWorks students graduate

UTICA, N.Y. - This year's Arc Collegeworks commencement ceremony took place at Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) in the IT Building's Theater Room on Tuesday, May 18.

Neil Romano, President, The Romano Group, LLC, was this year's Keynote Speaker. Romano is considered one of the nation's leading authorities in the field of media and public advocacy. Romano has dedicated his career to the marketing of ideas and messages to help save lives and promote public policy. He is founder and president of The Romano Group LLC., a strategic consulting firm which produces highly visible and effective public awareness programs. In addition, Mr. Romano is president of America's Strength, a not for profit organization which works to promote the hiring of people with disabilities.

Romano has served as a member of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, and presently serves on a number of diverse national boards of directors. He has advised the Association for People in Supported Employment, the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and other disability employment groups which use a "business to business" approach to promote the imperative of hiring people with disabilities.

The CollegeWorks program is a collaborative project between The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter and MVCC. It was established to improve student transition from high school to employment, and is a non-credit, non-degreed, two-year certificate program for individuals with special needs who desire to get a better job and obtain college experience.

The year one curriculum offers students an exploratory career assessment in the fields of care giving, food service, industrial/maintenance, retail/office and animal care. In the second year, students elect to study in one occupational area and participate in a work-study at a local job site. After graduation the students will seek employment in their respective fields.

The class of 2010 graduates are:
Patrick Abel
Shannon Bachman
Kirk Bonsu
Megan Cornish
Tracy Dawes
Susan Dygert
Rachel Ann Lewis
Jamal Moore
Justin Riddell
Marcus Riggall
Dominique Robinson
Samantha Rodriquez
Shauna Shoop

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