Olean Walmart honored for commitment to employing people with disabilities

The Rehab Center is proud to celebrate Walmart Supercenter in Olean for its efforts in supporting and developing a diverse workforce. For the second year in a row, Walmart’s Human Resources Director, Mary Coss, received an award for employing persons with disabilities in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). 

  Mary was presented with the award at an event in Buffalo last month, sponsored by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in conjunction with Western New York Employment Consortium, the NYS Office of Adult Career and Continuing Educational Services –Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and the NYS Commission for the Blind (NYSCB).  Each year they honor a number of local employers who have enabled persons with disabilities to become members of the local community workforce.  Walmart has a long-standing commitment to employing people with disabilities, beginning nearly 20 years ago.  Nancy Miller, Director of Vocational Services said, “For the 20 years we have collaborated with Walmart for employment opportunities, their management has consistently supported creation of a diverse workforce and modeled a respectful and welcoming workplace.  At any given time we have 4-6 individuals with disabilities working for Walmart. This isn’t an accident; it’s because under their strong leadership, they recognize the value of hiring individuals with disabilities as an asset to their business and essential to the local community.”  Mary Coss has been a key player in the successful partnership with The Rehab Center. “She is an effective collaborator who understands what we do, and believes strongly in giving people a chance to succeed,” said Nancy Miller.Mary has frequently assisted The Rehab Center’s program by presenting information to the job seekers on workplace expectations and the importance of demonstrating good work performance and work ethic.  Mary has served twice on the Cattaraugus/Allegany WIB Board for a total of 12 years.  She brings her experience and perspective of hiring for a large workforce in customer service, and represents an employer who has made a commitment to a diverse workforce.  One of the first people hired by Walmart through The Rehab Center’s program in 1998 is still working there in 2018.  She has moved through multiple departments as a sales associate, cashier, and department head.  Her 20 years of success is a result of strong motivation and dedication, job coaching supports in the early years, and supportive management.  Our collaborations contributed to her success as a productive employee who demonstrates integrity, dependability, a strong work ethic, and teamwork.​ Since 1998, Walmart has successfully employed over 40 individuals from the program in various departments and shifts. The Rehab Center frequently uses Walmart as a role model for other businesses who are considering hiring a person with a disability.  “We nominated Walmart in Olean, NY for this award to express its gratitude for 20 years of being a leader in recognizing the ability and value of hiring people with disabilities in their workforce,” said Nancy Miller.