CARMEL – A group of special Putnam County residents had the opportunity last week to work at a job that interested them during the county’s eighth annual Mentoring Day.
Coordinated by the non-for-profit CAREERS Support Solutions in conjunction with Putnam County government, Carmel High School and the ARC of Putnam, the event paired mentors from throughout the county with individuals interested in learning about the skills needed to be successfully employed.
CAREERS Executive Director Tina Cornish-Lauria described the day as a “great time for individuals with disabilities and county employees to share their employment skills and interests. County Executive MaryEllen Odell and her staff always make our participants feel welcome and needed and both participants and mentors come away from the day having learned something special.”
CAREERS, Putnam ARC and Carmel High School participants were matched with volunteer county mentors based on the interests of each mentee. County departments included Office for Senior Resources, Finance, Consumer Affairs, Veterans Bureau, Youth Bureau, IT, Sheriff’s Dept., Bureau of Emergency Services and Highways and Facilities. Participants worked side by side with mentors for several hours doing tasks including labeling mailings, landscaping, delivering mail and assisting with recreation activities for seniors.
Christian worked at the Bureau of Emergency Services under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner Robert Lipton: “Christian did a fantastic job by shredding nearly a ton of paper,” Lipton told those gathered at the Carmel Cornerstone Park following the program.
Steven was employed for the day at the county’s Highways and Facilities Department. “I had a blast,” said the enthusiastic and energetic young man.
Tony assisted at the Sheriff’s Dept. His supervisor for the day, Sgt. Keith Blessing, said the “young man was a great help.”
Odell explained that “Mentoring Day breaks down barriers–both the ones that society contrives with preconceived notions and the ones that each one of us develops of our own limits.”