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A very special award is waiting in the wings, to be presented at an upcoming luncheon recognizing local businesses that hire uniquely abled individuals.

Several months ago the SCV Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals Disabilities decided to create an art contest with a dual purpose – fun and prizes for the artists and special recognition for local businesses that stand out as examples of inclusion of individuals with disabilities in their workforce.

The SCV Mayor’s Committee invited Special Education students from the William S. Hart Union School District to enter the contest, which ended a few weeks ago on August 31. The entries that have been submitted are from students that range in age from 12 to 21, representing the talent of students with different disabilities within the school district, such as Autism, Specific Learning Disabled, intellectual disabilities, just to name a few.

A panel of judges selected by the SCV Mayor’s Committee will vote on the works of art, among them digital drawings, self-portraits, landscapes and chalk drawings. Names of the artists will not be known by the panel: only the number of the artwork. First, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be selected and offered prizes of $500, $250 and $100.

Anna Bettencourt, previous Chairperson for the Mayor’s Committee, and in charge of the art contest stated: “Our contest gives our students an opportunity to show their unique skills, while it will bring meaning to our Business Partners. We are always looking for ways to bridge the gap between young people with special needs who are seeking employment, and the employers that are making a difference in these individuals lives, and that of their company, by giving them a platform.”

When the winning artwork is selected, it will be presented at the Mayor’s Committee Business Recognition Luncheon, which will be taking place in February of 2018. All businesses that are recognized at the luncheon will receive a framed picture of the winning artwork, along with a brass nameplate signifying their efforts to support hiring of individuals with disabilities.

The artist winners will receive their awards at the luncheon as well, along with a representative of the Hart School District. Ken Wiseman, Chairman of the Mayor’s Committee shared: “We arrived at selecting a unique art award to be part of our business recognition, as we want the concept of workplace inclusion of individuals with disabilities to be a long-term commitment, and we envision companies looking forward to their annual recognition, and continued focus on inclusion, to be shared proudly on the walls of their organization.”

The SCV Mayor’s Committee Student Art Contest is just one way to recognize these talented students within our community.

We invite businesses that have an interest in attending the luncheon and being considered for recognition, or becoming sponsors of this event to contact: Ken Wiseman, Committee Chair, at 661-775-0611 or email at kwiseman@amsfulfillment.com.