ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 13, 2005) -- The Atrium Café at Grover Center was among three Ohio University award recipients Wednesday who were honored for their employment of workers with disabilities. Dining Services was awarded the Ambassador Award and Jessica Street, distance learning operations supervisor at the Telecommunications Center, won the Trail Blazer Award for an Individual.
The Atrium Café, which doubles as a laboratory for food, nutrition and hospitality studies at the College of Health and Human Services, received the 2005 PersonnelPlus Trail Blazer Award at a ceremony at City Hall attended by Athens Mayor Richard Abel and Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis.
The award was presented by PersonnelPlus, a division of the non-profit corporation ATCO, an employment and training center for people with disabilities in Athens County. A panel of seven business/community leaders and two PersonnelPlus workers chose recipients.
The Atrium Cafe has "demonstrated leadership and vision in promoting integrated employment of persons with disabilities," according to the citation.
Accepting the award Wednesday were Janice Bailey, café manager, and Diana Manchester, an assistant professor at the School of Human and Consumer Sciences who oversees the facility's operation and coordinates its educational role.
For Manchester, the café's employment of four PersonnelPlus workers since 2001 has been a win-win partnership.
"Working with PersonnelPlus to provide employment for individuals with disabilities is an academic decision that I make to enhance student learning experiences in the Atrium Café," Manchester said. "Someday, they will manage their own facilities, and the positive experience they had here interacting with people with disabilities will encourage them to seek out similar community resources."
Bailey said afterward that she felt honored because there are so many worthy businesses and organizations in the community that work with PersonnelPlus, which employs more than 70 workers at more than 50 businesses across Athens County. About 25 of those employees work jobs at Ohio University.
"It is a wonderful program that makes an amazing difference in the community," Bailey said.
Ohio President Roderick McDavis thanked PersonnelPlus for acknowledging the university and its people with the awards, which came in the form of red and gold plaques.
"We appreciate the partnership that we have. We think this is a very important part of what we do as a university," McDavis said.
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