Meet National Grid’s Newest EmployABILITY Intern!

By Benjamin Campbell

National Grid’s Enabling Disability Confidence employee resource group is working to expand EmployABILITY, its program geared toward hiring interns with disabilities. The program helps interns with disabilities to get a foot in the door. It builds confidence, develops skills and provides tools to help the interns succeed in their careers.

The program began last January in Downstate New York, when we hired Avraham (‘Avi’) Kalban in Corporate Affairs and Joseph Feldman in Gas Materials and Standards. We have recently expanded, hiring a new EmployABILITY intern in Millbury, Massachusetts. Shane O’Neil, who is our first EmployABILITY intern in all of New England, has been working with Margaret Jones and David Mei in the Millbury Learning & Development center since September.

employ-2The Millbury L&D center offers a variety of educational courses for National Grid employees, including classes for office workers as well as simulations of our electric and gas systems for people who work in the field. Shane is getting hands-on experience with a variety of jobs around the office, such as building decks and trailers for Commercial Driver’s License training, stocking and preparing materials and equipment, and ensuring that the Electric Panel Area is in compliance. Shane enjoys the work he’s been doing: “I’m learning about the different types of work that National Grid does and all the training that employees receive to do that work.  The people I work with are very nice and I really like the environment.”

employ-1Shane went to a private high school designed to accommodate his language-based learning disability. The school, while helpful for his learning, met for extended hours year round and afforded Shane very little time to pursue summer jobs, sports or other opportunities that high school students often get to take advantage of. His internship at National Grid is therefore his first exposure to the working world, and according to Shane and his mother, Mary O’Neil (Director, US Corporate Audit), it’s been a great experience for him so far. Things that many of us might not think about—like submitting a resume, socializing with coworkers and being in an office environment—can be a huge benefit to someone who is rarely provided with those opportunities.

And it’s not just good for Shane—it’s good for us, too! His supervisor Margaret Jones called Shane “A great asset to our team! We are very lucky to have him. Shane truly fits right in and everyone enjoys working with him.”

Shane’s internship is made possible through the Enabling Disability Confidence EmployABILITY program, which continues to expand, with a recent Disability Mentoring Day in MetroTech pairing our employees with potential new interns in the future. Click here to meet the other EmployABILITY interns!

5 Comments

Rita Moran

This is a great article and terrific program. Having had the opportunity to meet Shane at the Millbury Training Center, he is a terrific kid and hard worker. Welcome to National Grid Shane!

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Anon

Thank you National Grid for coming up with this program. I hope it continues and grows. In a past company, one of our Senior VPs was blind for decades and yet kept up with everything through software that read him documents and his incredible memory. It seems that the “foot in the door” is the hardest step. Best wishes to everyone involved!

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Jim Jendzejec

I am very interested in this new program for my son Michael Jendzejec. I am a retiree from the Providence office, Jim Jendzejec. Does this program eventually move these individuals into a full time career? My son currently works for DHS in Rhode Island taking calls for social workers and directing calls but it is only part time.

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