Mike has been with the Center for Disability Services for 25 years, with his 25th anniversary just happening on the 11th of October.
Mike’s story with the Center truly is a “life story”. He started his affiliation with the Center receiving services as a young boy. He credits his parents for driving him from Massachusetts to Albany to get the services he needed during the period he lived outside of the Capital District. Many years later, after high school and college, Mike once again came to the Center, but this time it was to help others, this time, Mike wanted to be an employee.
Mike started as a teachers aide in our Langan School, he was the perfect fit, he wanted to be helpful and can’t help but be personable. Those same qualities carried over as Mike moved to our front desk at Manning Boulevard. Mike is the best first impression any organization could ever ask for. Over the years, Mike did many functions, often volunteering to take on more, and always looking to help others. Mike moved to our Mail Fulfillment Center about 5 years ago, once again as the first impression to visitors, and jack of all trades. Mike has never said no to any request for help, he is the ultimate team player, and wants others to be successful.
Vince Lombardi once said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual”. When the Center was asked for a nominee for Employee of the Year, it was unanimous. The success of the Center for Disability Services is certainly a combined effort of our staff, but an individual like Mike Lizzi is an invaluable piece to the puzzle. Congratulations Mike on your Employee of the year award!
Perhaps this year, more than any in our history, the partnership between the Center for Disability Services and NYSID has strengthened the opportunities we can offer to individuals with disabilities who want to work, and proudly we can say, have the opportunity to work in a positive and integrated setting with all the necessary supports for success.
In this past 12 months, NYSID with support from member agencies was successful in working with State government to amend outdated definitions in statute related to mail fulfillment, many of which were necessary to accommodate changes in technology, thereby, maintaining and in some areas growing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in a meaningful work opportunity. This has never been more important, as the defunding and closing of workshop programs threatens the same employment opportunities for a group of individuals who have had those opportunities for much of their adult life.
This award represents the 68 individuals, 70% of which are disabled, that work at our Mail Fulfillment Center, that embrace our agencies Mission, take pride in the opportunity to work, and have commitment to our customers and the quality of work they produce. This award represents our agency's effort to implement new technologies, many of which were used in private industry to eliminate jobs, but through innovation and a belief that technology is the great equalizer, we used it to create opportunities for jobs for our disabled workforce. In addition, our staff has worked diligently to diversify our service portfolio, thereby, increasing opportunities for more individuals to participate.