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Hartford Hospital Recognized With Inclusive Business Award

November 02, 2022

MARC, Inc. of Manchester recently presented Hartford Hospital with the 2022 Inclusive Business Award during National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This is the second year Hartford Hospital has participated in Project SEARCH, which is a business-led internship program for young adults with disabilities, ages 18-35, where they learn workplace skills and gain hands-on experience. HH Project search Bimal Patel, president of Hartford Hospital, accepted the award, sharing that the experience had been profound on both sides. “Not only are you learning job skills, you inspire people here every single day,” he said. In the program this year there are eight interns, doubling the size from the previous four participants, said Eileen Pelletier, director of volunteer services at Hartford Hospital. She said after the program last year, two interns accepted positions in the food service and facilities sector of Hartford Hospital. “It is a great partnership,” she said. “There is so much opportunity and we are excited to continue to expand the program.” She said job coaches work with the interns, who can shadow in five different departments, including environmental services, food and nutrition, facilities, the gift shop and respiratory tech department. Interns share their interests and then coaches help them pick three rotations to train in. Along with training in the different departments over nine months, participants learn about life skills, resume skills, team building and more. Kevin Zigler, from MARC, Inc., said the interns develop valuable skills for the workforce, which is an asset to the community as well as the individuals involved. MARC, Inc. provides the opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead meaningful lives of independence, choice, inclusion, and continuous personal growth.