Providing Jobs for People
with Special Needs


10 Ridgedale Avenue
Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927
(973) 538-8822

Since 1957, Employment Horizons has supported people with disabilities and their families to help develop job skills leading to a paying job, the prospect of independence and a better quality of life.  Whether an individual was born with a disability or acquired one due to an illness, accident or other circumstances, they know that Employment Horizons is here to help them acquire the job skills needed for increased financial independence.

Each year, we help hundreds of individuals to obtain employment, whether in our on-site Cedar Knolls workshop, our Culinary Arts Training Program, or in the community in the greater Morris County, NJ area.  Each year, hundreds of individuals with developmental, physical, and/or mental health disabilities are provided with workplace training and support!  

People like Bethany and Mark who work every day, earn a pay check, pay taxes and otherwise help stimulate the local economy.  Most importantly, they have meaningful employment.  If Employment Horizons did not exist, many would be at home without the satisfaction of a job, sense of pride in their work, financial Program participant working in the fulfillment centerindependence, social interaction with others, or a place to belong. 

At Employment Horizons, your donations truly make a difference with $.95 of every dollar donated going directly to our programs and services.   Donations are critical in our ability to provide and expand services like our Video Based Training Program, Job Sampling Program (the largest in the state), and Discover Your Community Program (showing our program participants the various places in the community where they can be employed or visit), supplementing the costs of providing support and services to individuals with disabilities.  Please make your tax-deductible donation and give meaning, a sense of self-worth and dignity to individuals with disabilities.   


Walter had worked with Employment Horizons in the past and was able to find a position out in the community. However, a few years later, his employer reduced Walter’s hours, and he knew he needed to pursue something new. So, he called upon Employment Horizons to help him find a more fulfilling position. Eager to help, Lisa Montalbano, our Business Development Director, reached out to Lee Kaloidis of the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey to help Walter find something that aligned with his skills and experience. Lee had a selection of positions available, and was more than happy to meet with Walter. Harold Quintana, his counselor, arranged for a job sample. The meeting was successful, and Lee offered him a position.

Now, Walter has become an integral part of the MPAC community. He is in charge of maintenance, and assists in the sweeping of the main theater, dusting, wiping the tables, cleaning and maintaining supplies in the restroom, organization of the closets, and taking out the trash and recycling. MPAC has complimented his high standards for cleanliness and attention to detail. Lee Kaloidis has said, “Walter fits our organization quite well. He is a proactive member of our team, and truly an asset. I feel he treats our facility like a piece of artwork, and he is the curator. We have him attend our parties and events, and he is a part of our family at MPAC. Thank you for sending him my way!”

The position is full time, and Walter works Monday through Friday from 7:30 in the morning until 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. Walter commented, “I’m glad I got the opportunity to work at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. The people who work here are very friendly and willing to help you. I get the opportunity to learn more about the different events at the MPAC and about the setup involved. I’ve truly enjoyed this experience.”

Congratulations, Walter! Keep up the good work! 

Kim had been working in our janitorial program at Picatinny Arsenal, but expressed a desire to try something different. Kim’s job developer/job coach got right to work, locating a position at Walgreens.
Kim applying makeup on a customer
Kim was hired as a Store Associate at Walgreens and was thriving when she learned of a new opportunity within the store. Walgreens was in the process of rebranding their Beauty Department, with the store focusing more on this department than on food and other items in an attempt to bring in additional customers. As such, they needed someone to run this department and Kim, a fan of makeup and beauty, was interested in the job. Kim went to her supervisor and asked what she needed to do to be considered for the position. She was interviewed by the head of the department at the corporate level and was given the opportunity to run the entire Beauty Department. Walgreens invested in Kim, sending her to various trainings including make-up classes, which she truly enjoyed.
  
Kim enjoys assisting customers with their beauty needs and has now been working at Walgreens for nearly four years as a full time employee and loves her job. This dynamic young woman has shown that hard work and initiative go a long way! Thank you Walgreens for making her dream a reality!

Albert posing before his talkAlbert Valdez is a man with a mission: to inspire other people with disabilities. Employment Horizons, a local non-profit that provides job training and placement services to people with disabilities, is helping Albert to achieve his goal. Albert, who has cerebral palsy, has been employed at Employment Horizons for twelve years. “This is the perfect setting for me – I got to know the staff, my co-workers, and I get out of the house,” says Valdez. Through Employment Horizons, Valdez discovered his true potential in helping others. He has always been an example and inspiration for his co-workers, with his great outlook and coach mentality. Albert served as a baseball coach for both Rutgers University and Wood-Ridge High School, a career spanning over forty years and numerous recognitions. He has even been inducted into the Bergen County Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame.

However, his outlook changed as his disease progressed. After an injury due to a fall, Valdez became depressed. “I didn’t want anything to do with anybody,” he recalled. “Then, I decided to take every day as it comes. Now, I wake up every morning and thank God I’m alive and can come to a place like this. Not many people with disabilities have an opportunity to come to a place to work.” Valdez discovered his true potential at that point – helping others with disabilities.

Albert speaking to the classHe approached Rachel Kehm, a counseling intern at Employment Horizons, about speaking at one of her graduate classes at Rutgers University. Rachel connected with a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions and set up a time for Albert to visit the class. On January 24, Valdez spoke to the Medical Aspects of Disability graduate class.

Valdez spoke to the class about his life – his baseball career, his family, and his disability. The coach in him was evident. “It’s not easy, but you can’t give up. You have to do what you can do. If you give up, forget it…you might as well pack it in. You have to be persistent to really get what you want.”  Valdez said his goal for the speech was to inspire just one student. He was successful. “You really inspired me today. I was down and you really helped me. You’ve inspired me to keep going and doing what I need to do,” commented one student.

Valdez wants to continue speaking publically about his life and disability. “If you want it bad enough you go out and you get it,” he said. We have no doubt he will.

Linda came to Employment Horizons after being laid off from her job at a magazine publisher in New York City after 11 years of employment. She tried looking for a job on her own, but was unsuccessful. She found it difficult to look for jobs and go on interviews. Her confidence level was low. Unfortunately, symptoms of Linda’s disability increased and she was hospitalized multiple times, causing her to give up on looking for a job. She felt the job search was just “impossible”.  After her hospital stay, she decided to seek help in finding employment. The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services referred her to Employment Horizons. Within weeks, Linda’s job developer (Jamie) set up an interview for her at Toyota of Morristown. Jamie helped her through the interview, and Linda got the job right away, almost five years to the day after she was laid off.  She’s very grateful for the help of the job coaches at Employment Horizons. 


Linda’s biggest challenge in her new position was her low confidence level. She mastered the computer aspects of her job quickly, but was scared of talking on the phone. Now, she’s not nervous at all. She still has her script with her in case she gets uncomfortable, but otherwise she considers herself  “a pro”.  Working at Toyota has also helped Linda come out of her shell. She used to be quiet and extremely shy, but now she talks more and jokes around with her coworkers, whom she loves.  “They accepted me without judging me on my disability,” she said. Linda is happy to have this job to pay her rent and have some spending money, too!

We are proud of Linda and wish her much continued success. 
Avi came to Employment Horizons last fall and began training in our Culinary Arts program. He was a great fit for the team and learned his tasks quickly. It soon became clear that Avi would excel at a community placement, and the process of finding a job for Avi outside of Employment Horizons began. In April, Avi was offered a position as a food prep assistant at Corrado’s Market in Fairfield. Avi Working

He was apprehensive about starting a new job. He started off doing  simple tasks, such as breading and grilling eggplant and chicken. As he became comfortable, he was eager to learn more and quickly gained  additional responsibilities. Now, Avi helps customers with their orders (such as for meat or fish) and also prepares sandwiches during the store’s busy lunch time rush. “I was nervous about starting my new job, but with Employment Horizons’ help I was able to overcome my anxiety,” said Avi. “I’m proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished – I definitely feel like I’ve come a long way from when I first started.”

In fact, Avi has come such a long way he is now training a new employee on the simple tasks he started with so he will have more time to work in the deli and assist customers! Abdul (manager at Corrado’s) stated, “Avi is doing very well. He’s not afraid to learn new things. Some people are scared to try something new, but not Avi.” 
In the summer of 2014, Colin came to Employment Horizons for job coaching for a position he had obtained at a chemical cleaning company.   Vicky, Colin’s job coach, observed that the position was not a good fit for Colin and recommended that he leave the job and consider other options.   Colin was placed in the Custodial Services Department at Employment Horizons under the direct supervision of Jocelyn Hathaway.   He learned various skills and gained a level of confidence that made a positive impact in his life.  After several months of janitorial training and demonstrating excellent work skills, Jocelyn 
recommended that he perform as a supervisor while she was away on vacation.  Shortly thereafter, he began working on off-site cleaning contracts.  Colin capably performed his cleaning duties and also demonstrated a friendly, professional demeanor that his job coach believed would be an asset for community employment.
  
Colin’s ultimate goal was to obtain a position at Picatinny Arsenal and, in the fall, his dream was realized.   His new position turned out to be a great fit.  He loves his job and he receives federal minimum wage of $10.10 with other federal benefits.  Higher wages and benefits have allowed Colin to have much-needed work done on his car providing him with a greater sense of self-worth and independence.
 
When Colin graduated from high school, his friends all went to college resulting in very little social interaction and his previous job provided no interaction with other people. When he came to Employment Horizons, he began making friends and doing things socially with a few of his co-workers, thus he now has a full and happy life.  “Since our first introduction to Employment Horizons, we continue to be impressed with the organization and its employees” stated Colin’s mother.  “Our experience has been very positive and refreshing and we are grateful that our son’s path crossed with Employment Horizons.”

We wish Colin much continued success!
Viewers often complain that advertisements take up too much listening and viewing time; however they are the mechanism that pays for the television and radio programming that we enjoy.  Public service announcements (PSA’s) are another type of “interruption” to our listening and viewing pleasure.  These messages are disseminated by the media without charge, and are in the public interest and with the objective of raising awareness, changing public attitudes and behaviors toward a social issue.  

We recently found a more “focused” benefit that they provide.  They help individuals learn about organizations that can assist them in some way.  And so it was for Chip Hendrickson who heard a PSA on WDHA and took action.  Prompted by his family to look for a job, Chip was unsure where to turn for help until he began hearing the PSA’s about the programs and services provided by Employment Horizons.  Chip took down the phone number and as they say, the rest is history.  Chip has been employed with our commercial services business unit for the past two and a half years and happily proclaims that he found his job as a result of his radio listening. 

Thank you WMTR/WDHA from Employment Horizons and all those in the community who benefit from your airing of our Public Service Announcements!

Congratulations to Shante, recently named June Employee of the Month at Walgreens in Verona! Shante has been employed at Walgreen’s since 2009, throughEmployment Horizons. She has multiple responsibilities at the store – running the register, working in the photo department, and stocking shelves. Shante has been entrusted with a lot of responsibility due to her ability to get the job done.  

The job has not always been an easy one.  With the help of her job coach, Jessica, Shante has learned to deal with the stresses of the job. With support and encouragement, Shante has been working on better communication with her supervisors, remaining calm, and focusing on her work. Justin, the Assistant Store Manager, stated “we picked Shante for Employee of the Month because she raised a lot of donations for the American Red Cross. She is also a great worker!” Shante was thrilled with the recognition! “I was shocked when I found out that I was Employee of the Month. It feels good to be appreciated. I’m proud of myself.” 

Congratulations, Shante! We are all proud of you. 
Working with her job developer to locate a position in retail, Devin interviewed with various potential retail employers.  A job opportunity arose with the Dollar Tree in Dover, but the position required her to use the cash register.  With the support of her job coach, Devin was open to learning the skills needed to operate the cash register.  

The store manager was understanding when Devin expressed her fears. She said she would like to try it, but was very nervous.  At first, Devin primarily worked in stock. She and her mom practiced money skills at home until Devin felt more comfortable handling retail transactions. Her supervisor, Eric, was very patient with her.  At first he would only ask her to go on register if the line was getting too long.  Ultimately, Devin began working most of her shift on the register and she is now called upon regularly to work on the register.  With the support and understanding of the store manager and fellow employees, Devin’s skills and confidence have grown tremendously.  

Her recent receipt of the “Cashier of the Week” award is the culmination of Devin’s determination and hard work.  “Devin’s confidence has increased dramatically over the past few months. She engages all of our customers, has received numerous positive comments from our customers and has been mentioned in a positive light through our customer comment website.  All the management staff is proud of all of her achievements and progress she has made since joining the Dollar Tree Family,” said Store Manager Eric Waldstein. Her family, job coach, supervisors and all of us here at Employment Horizons are very proud of Devin and most appreciative to everyone at the Dollar Tree for their can do attitude and support!  
This year’s Annual Recognition Dinner honored Catherine Syfor & Laura Callahan for their workplace success. Cathy was the recipient of the President’s Award, which recognizes an individual who exemplifies a successful transition from Employment Horizons’ work center to job placement in the community. Laura was the recipient of the William Huber Achievement Award, given to an individual whose outstanding accomplishments serve as an inspiration for all who strive to find employment and acceptance in the local community. 

Cathy has worked with Employment Horizons for over fifteen years.  She works on site in the fulfillment center two days a week and has successfully maintained part-time employment with Shop Rite in Dover for fourteen years. Cathy, or “Catmeister” as her co-workers call her, excels at assisting customers, many of whom seek her out just to say hello.  A valued member of the Shop Rite team, Cathy was humbled by her recognition.

Laura, employed as a bakery assistant at King’s Supermarket in Chatham since 1998, has a very strong work ethic and capably handles many aspects of the bakery, from cake decorating to stocking items. She earned Kings “Employee of the Month” recognition numerous times.  Her biggest challenge is finding enough time to stop and take her break! 
Patricia Nedo had worked for several corporations before coming to Employment Horizons.  Like many of us, she works to be able to put food on the table and pay her mortgage. In search of a full-time job she found that her resume and skills were strong enough to obtain an interview, but prospective employers failed to hire her after the interview.   After hearing a radio advertisement on WDHA, Patricia contacted Employment Horizons.  She was referred to a local DVR office and as they say, the rest is history. 

With the assistance and support of Danielle Baird, her Job Developer, Patricia began her job search.  She was hired in the Production Department of Unette Corporation, an FDA approved contract filler specializing in filling liquids.  Patricia’s job responsibilities include the maintenance of computer inventory and compilation of paperwork pertaining to completed work orders. 

“Working with Patricia has been an honor,  Her kindness, motivation, and wit have gotten her to where she is now,” says Danielle.  “Patricia’s hard work and dedication have really paid off.”  Although Patricia was seeking full-time work, she has come to realize that her part-time schedule works  well for her and acknowledges that together, Employment Horizons and Unette are an important part of this realization. “EH has made me feel better about myself and my capabilities,” says Nedo. “Unette is a perfect fit for me.”
An energetic, resourceful and hard-working young woman, Emily Stanek’s sense of entrepreneurship led her to establish her own pet sitting and childcare business.  In 2013,  Emily came to Employment Horizons to find a job that would further develop her work skills and contribute to her independence.   After participating in a one-week job sample for an open position at Pinnacle Foods in Parsippany, New Jersey, she was officially hired as a Facilities Assistant.

Employment Horizons' provides job training and placement to people with disabilities

Kelly Keady, Emily’s job coach, assisted Emily in learning her job duties and together they created a routine that would allow Emily to complete her daily tasks.  Emily’s responsibilities include the maintenance of supplies in the pantries, keeping them fully stocked with coffee, creamer, sugar, plates, napkins, and utensils; stocking the office supply closets to maintain neatness as well as an adequate amount of supplies; oversight of the water coolers to ensure that water and cups are always available; and assistance and support with copier maintenance, alerting her supervisor, Scott Fox, of any issues.   Emily is valued as an integral part of the Pinnacle team, working part-time Monday through Friday.  She brings her bright smile and cheerful personality every day, which other employees at Pinnacle Foods really appreciate! Colleagues note that her fashionista style is always complemented by her positive attitude and brilliant smile.  “At Pinnacle Foods our corporate values are Trust, Candor, and Ownership.  Emily is an outstanding example of these values every day, and she brings it with a smile,” said Fox.

”Everyone is always nice and I’ve met so many people at Pinnacle,” Emily said.   “It’s a joy to work here…I’m very happy to have found a place like this to work.”  Emily hopes that as time goes by she can learn more about what goes on in the kitchen or to help her co-workers with paperwork.  For now, she’s happy to have a weekly paycheck.  She saves a lot, but likes shopping for clothes and splurged for a Mac Book Air with her earnings from Pinnacle.  Emily said, “it’s nice to pay for my own stuff.”

Kimberly  began working with Isis Sykes, her job developer in Career Development Services on June 29, 2012. She worked in the Fulfillment Center first and subsequently moved to Culinary Arts in September.  Working 5 days a week, she learned the curriculum through classes taught by the Culinary program coordinators.  She learned safety in the kitchen, infection control, hand washing, food preparation and pot washing.   

After completing the classes, Kim became hands on in the kitchen.  She learned various skills and then applied them in performing food prep and serving work. She was very nervous in the serving area and needed support to learn to interact with consumers due to her shyness and inexperience.  With capable support she gained confidence.  Kim performed various job samples including a “stint” at the bakery in the Parsippany Shop Rite where they fell in love with her.  Utilizing public transportation including Access Link, she is highly independent and learned the transportation system to be here on time always with enthusiasm.

She continues to work on her interpersonal skills with the assistance of her job coaches. She has recently been placed at a local Wendy’s as a “crew member” primarily performing  sandwich preparation, but is also assisting with cleaning the lobby area and returning trays.  During her interview, Kim was recognized by the manager immediately as a regular customer who patronizes the popular food chain.  The interview went well and Kim impressed the manager with both her knowledge of the operation as well as her ability to perform the job.  And it was her infectious smile and enthusiasm that set her apart from other prospects.  She was mentored on the preparation of more popular menu items and honed her skills in this area.    

Close to home, she can continue developing her independence by getting to work on her own.  Employment Horizons’ staff has observed that over the past year “Kim has matured and developed the skills needed to be successful in her new community placement”.  Kim says “Thank you to Wendy’s and Employment Horizons.”  She greatly appreciates the help in developing skills that have allowed her to work in the community in a job she loves. 


Employment Horizons provides job training and placement to people with disabilities and special needs in the greater Morris County, NJ area.Kimberly  began working with Isis Sykes, her job developer in Career Development Services on June 29, 2012. She worked in the Fulfillment Center first and subsequently moved to Culinary Arts in September.  Working 5 days a week, she learned the curriculum through classes taught by the Culinary program coordinators.  She learned safety in the kitchen, infection control, hand washing, food preparation and pot washing.   

After completing the classes, Kim became hands on in the kitchen.  She learned various skills and then applied them in performing food prep and serving work. She was very nervous in the serving area and needed support to learn to interact with consumers due to her shyness and inexperience.  With capable support she gained confidence.  Kim performed various job samples including a “stint” at the bakery in the Parsippany Shop Rite where they fell in love with her.  Utilizing public transportation including Access Link, she is highly independent and learned the transportation system to be here on time always with enthusiasm.

She continues to work on her interpersonal skills with the assistance of her job coaches. She has recently been placed at a local Wendy’s as a “crew member” primarily performing  sandwich preparation, but is also assisting with cleaning the lobby area and returning trays.  During her interview, Kim was recognized by the manager immediately as a regular customer who patronizes the popular food chain.  The interview went well and Kim impressed the manager with both her knowledge of the operation as well as her ability to perform the job.  And it was her infectious smile and enthusiasm that set her apart from other prospects.  She was mentored on the preparation of more popular menu items and honed her skills in this area.    

Close to home, she can continue developing her independence by getting to work on her own.  Employment Horizons’ staff has observed that over the past year “Kim has matured and developed the skills needed to be successful in her new community placement”.  Kim says “Thank you to Wendy’s and Employment Horizons.”  She greatly appreciates the help in developing skills that have allowed her to work in the community in a job she loves.   

Lorna, who has been working at Employment Horizons for over six years, has performed  a variety of jobs ranging from cleaning wires and peripherals to packaging cloth pouches. Her counselor and supervisor determined that she would be a good candidate for increased responsibility.

Now, instead of performing daily piecework, she assists in the supervision of her peers. After the piecework is completed by program participants, she counts the pieces, performs quality control checks, and gives each program participant credit on their timesheet for the work performed.

“I’m responsible for making sure everything’s perfect,” Lorna says.

Lorna started training for this new job with guidance from her supervisor, Lori, and after trying out the job, she began the material handling and sorting position on a regular basis.

“Lori showed me what to do, and now I’m confident and comfortable with the work,” Lorna says. “This job is a good fit for me.”

For Andrew, working at Employment Horizons has allowed him to find a perfect match between his skills and the right job. Andrew spent six months working on jobs in the EH Assembly Room for our client, a well-respected jewelry corporation. Andrew measured and cut specific lengths of ribbon for jewelry boxes and checked the boxes for imperfections. Andrew’s enthusiasm and excellent work ethic earned him the opportunity to “try out” a job working at one of the company’s distribution centers.

As part of a job sampling, Andrew made a suggestion about how the boxes were taped so that he could accomplish the task in a more efficient manner. The company’s employees were so impressed that they eagerly requested to hire Andrew to work at the facility four days a week. 

Andrew’s supervisor at the distribution center says, “Andrew is a very conscientious worker, and a valuable member of our team. He is always prompt and gives a full effort every day. I consider him to be a valuable member of the team. I think the arrangement that brought Andrew to us works so well because Employment Horizons took the time to understand what we needed and found the right person for the position." 

Andrew says of his new position, “I really love my job here, and it’s a really great place to work.”

Kevin's work ethic is undeniable. As Maintenance Supervisor at Gogel Tire and My Limo, he starts his day at 7:30 a.m. Over the past fourteen years, he has made himself indispensable, cleaning the inside facility, taking out the garbage and recycling and maintaining the parking lot.

“I make sure we keep everything clean,” Kevin says.

Aside from his regular tasks, he’s also known to pitch in wherever needed, whether refilling the customer coffee pot or fixing the vacuum cleaner.

“He’s self-starting,” says Howard Gogel, owner and CEO of My Limo.Employment Horizons provides job training and placement to people with disabilities and special needs in the greater Morris County, NJ area.

So self-starting, in fact, that Kevin chooses to go beyond working a five-day, 40-hour week at Gogel Tire and My Limo. For the past 11 years, he has also worked one day a week as a cleaner at Picatinny Arsenal, where he is coached by staff from Employment Horizons, Inc.

Kevin says that his position at Picatinny has allowed him to gain valuable social skills, which he often applies at Gogel Tire and My Limo as he greets customers.

“It helped him to be able to make friends,” Howard Gogel said of Kevin’s position at Picatinny, which he has held since 2001.

His two jobs also give Kevin the opportunity to earn a paycheck, with which he is both wise and generous.

“I save a lot,” Kevin says. “Sometimes I take my dad to breakfast, and I buy things for my niece.”

Kevin also has a full social calendar, even with a work schedule that would seem overwhelming to most. His hobbies include photography, camping, and taking trips into New York City.

“I just saw Mary Poppins on Broadway,” Kevins says.

But unlike many, Kevin isn’t just “working for the weekend.” The obvious dedication and friendly disposition that one observes as he performs his day-to-day duties suggests how much he enjoys his work.

 “I like my job,” Kevin says. “I like the people.”

And just as Kevin values his job, his fellow coworkers and customers at Gogel Enterprises value and appreciate him and the high quality of his work. From office space, to the lobby, to the service center, he plays an integral role in the maintenance of every area.

“This place would be a mess without Kevin,” Howard Gogel says. “When he goes on vacation, we all really miss him.”