(Auburn, Maine) – Work Opportunities Unlimited has announced that Aaron Stone of Auburn, Maine, is the recipient of the Roger LaChapelle Award. Given annually to the employee with the most significant job placement results company-wide, the award was presented to Stone for his passion for helping people with disabilities access the competitive workplace and for his excellence in quality job placements.
Founded upon the principle that all people can work, Work Opportunities Unlimited is a community-based, employment service provider that specializes in placing people with disabilities, and job seekers who experience barriers to employment, in competitive work environments.
As a Career Resource Specialist, Stone dedicates his days to breaking down barriers and opening the doors to the workplace for people with disabilities. “Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes,” says Stone. “We’re all about overcoming obstacles to employment. The focal point for me is always looking at the persons skills and abilities.”
“Since joining our team, Aaron has placed over 500 individuals into employment,” says Mike Murtha, Director of Work Opportunities in Auburn. “But what’s so impressive to me, is not the sheer number of placements he has made, but that he does this one client at a time. Aaron has an exceptional focus on each and every individual that he works with. This relationship enables him to meet the clients exact job goals, thereby changing their lives for the better. And in the process of placing people, he has forged positive, reciprocal relationships with hundreds of employers, schools, VA and Voc. Rehab. counselors; all incredibly important connections that help get people working throughout the region. With his dedication to the people he serves and the impact that he has on our mission of inclusion for all, Aaron is changing the world of work.”
This year alone, Stone has made 52 placements in Androscoggin County, and that was all within the job goals of the individual. So, if someone wanted to work in health care or wanted to be a cook or a bus driver, he got the job done. Highlights include placing people at Bates College, finding a job for a nurse struggling with PTSD, helping a man with anxiety who is now working as a dump truck driver and placing health care workers at a local assisted living facility.
“We don’t put people in the wrong job,” says Stone. “We work hard to create opportunities for success. And it’s not always about the job, it’s about opening up new avenues and making connections for people so that they feel part of their communities, and that’s important to me. I think there is a saying that when the rising tide approaches, all ships are lifted. The way I look at it is I’m only doing as good as my neighbor, so if my neighbor is doing well, and I can help make that happen, then I’m doing well, and we’re doing OK as a community.”
About Work Opportunities Unlimited: With operations throughout the eastern United States, Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) is a community-based employment service provider. The company serves thousands of adults and students annually. In addition to private citizens, WOU provides services to individuals referred by school districts, vocational rehabilitation programs, development disability agencies, Departments of Mental Health, Transitional Assistance, and Children and Families, as well as the U.S. Social Security Administration through the Ticket to Work program. For information, visit www.workopportunities.net.