ONEONTA—The Arc Otsego announced recently that Creekside Industries Recycling Center, a division of The Arc Otsego, is the recipient of the 2022 Employer Recognition NDEAM Award. The nod comes in recognition of Creekside Industries’ demonstrated commitment to providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. NDEAM, or National Disability Employment Awareness Month, is observed annually in October, and celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities —past and present—and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices.
Creekside Industries Recycling Center partners with Corning Life Sciences to provide recycling services for the Corning Oneonta plant. The Recycling Center processes approximately 850,000 pounds of medical-grade plastics each year. All materials are sorted by plastic grade and then further treated through baling or regrinding. Once materials are processed, they are warehoused and then sent by truckload to a plastics recycler or back to Corning Oneonta. This project keeps plastics out of the landfill, meeting The Arc Otsego’s mission of becoming more sustainable as a community and maximizing Corning’s return on scrap plastics.
Creekside Industries Recycling Center was once part of The Arc Otsego’s pre-vocational program, transitioning in April of 2017 to a standalone business offering an integrated employment setting for individuals with and without disability. Today, Creekside employs 12 individuals with disabilities.
According to a recent media release, the current success and practices of employment of individuals with disabilities can be attributed to William Morley, manager of the Recycling Center since December 2020. Morley is described as “patient and understanding while holding all employees accountable, with high work standards and expectations in a productive team approach.”
Some highlights from Morley’s leadership of the Recycling Center include shift scheduling based on transportation needs, work tasks assigned based on individuals’ strengths, redesigning of work processes to accommodate individual needs, inclusion of Employment Specialists for greater communication between staff, and always including the full team in additional shift or promotion opportunities.
To learn more about employing individuals with disabilities or services offered by The Arc Otsego and Creekside Industries, visit www.arcotsego.org or call (607) 432-8595.