Disability mentoring hits Res Woods

By Benjamin Campbell

Last month, National Grid partnered with Work Without Limits to host Disability Mentoring Day in Reservoir Woods. Work Without Limits is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together companies and people with disabilities. The organization worked with National Grid’s employee resource group Enabling Disability Confidence to hold the event, which was a follow-up to a similar event held in Syracuse and Long Island last November (see previous story).

To kick off the day, Walter Fromm, Director Gas Construction New England, spoke to the group on behalf of National Grid. He was followed by John Isberg, VP Market Development, who explained to the attendees that throughout the day they would receive a short personalized “job experience” in an energy/utility company by being paired with a National Grid employee. The event also featured a PEx team presentation led by Claudia Rosen and Mey Ngu that discussed workplace organization, a talk by Cynthia Angulo on National Grid, including interviewing tips for the mentees, and an hour and a half of one-on-one mentoring time.

Claudia and Mey, PEx

Claudia and Mey, PEx

Michelle Roche, a member of the Enabling ERG who together with Leomary Bader helped organize the event, shared her thoughts on the day: “All of us who did the mentoring felt that we got just as much out of the day as the mentees. It was a great experience for everyone, and a great learning opportunity. Going into it, I’m not sure anybody expected to have that feeling.”

Enabling Disability Confidence works to foster an inclusive work environment in which the full abilities of all employees are allowed to shine. They hope to increase the employment of persons with disabilities at National Grid, improve the professional development of employees with disabilities, and raise awareness of issues that impact customers with disabilities.

The group plans to hold another Disability Mentoring Day this October, which is disability awareness month. Watch for updates in ournationalgrid.com and At A Glance!

Special thanks to all National Grid employees mentioned above, as well as to Alison Roberts and Laeyeng Hunt, who also participated in the event.

3 Comments

Jonathan Dickens

I have been deaf since birth and struggle with inclusion in most aspects of my life, including at work, since not everyone I meet has hearing loss issues such as I do. It’s a challenge for all involved as everyone who wants me to succeed has to make accommodations and is sometimes difficult to know what those accommodations should be. The program in this article seems to be a good opportunity and one that I would like to take part in. Generally, there seems to be very little in the way of support or guidance for the hard of hearing and also for those working with hard of hearing people. It is refreshing to see a company I’m working for put so much emphasis on helping people with disabilities.

As well as taking part in the mentoring program put on by ‘Work Without Limits’ this October, I would also be very interested in finding more information on coping in the workplace environment and even meeting others with a similar background. Any suggestions?

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Maura Mone

Hi Jonathan – thanks for your comment and for sharing your experiences. I’m going to ask the chair of the Enabling ERG to reach out to you so that you can learn more about the group.

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Mary Holzmann

I’d like to say thank you to everyone who helped make this event a huge success. Thank you Leomary and Michelle for putting this together and all the hard work. Special thanks to Sue Bertrand for her idea on the PEx presentation and to Mey Ngu and Claudia Rosen for presenting. To all the speakers and volunteers that makes this a special day for our guests, thank you to Cynthia Angulo, Walter Fromm, Laeyeng Hunt, John Isberg, and Alison Roberts.

Everyone please look for announcements on future “mentoring days” coming later this year in Metrotech, Long Island, Syracuse and Res Woods. Help support “Enabling Disability Confidence” join our ERG, our team or help as a volunteer. Come to our August 1st meeting all are welcome but please RSVP to mary.holzmann@nationalgrid.com.

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