AHRC New York City’s Department of Employment + Business Services (EBS) trains the people with developmental disabilities to succeed in careers of their choosing. At New York Presbyterian Hospital, 2 EBS employees, Martha Nieves and Sonia Nieves and the Director of Environmental Services at the hospital Kenneth Bang, train and assist the people who are in the janitorial program. Basic Skills Instructor for Careers program, Phuntsok Dechen is also a big part of the trainees’ everyday learning and success.
Kenneth said that there are 4 permanent staff members on the janitorial team and 6 people that recently started training. “I love having them here; they’re like my kids. We have had great success with this program and have come a long way from where we started. Martha and Sonia have been very supportive. This program has been quite the experience and I have had a blast.”
Martha Nieves, employee in the Janitorial Program Susana Perez, Sonia Nieves, and Phuntsok Dechen
The classroom portion of the training is 7 weeks long and the hands-on portion in the hospital is about 7 to 8 weeks.
6 trainees ranging from ages 18 to 24 were interviewed and had great things to say about the program. Kadijah Badiaka said, “I love my job because I clean the labor and delivery rooms and I get to see the new babies.”
Armando Reyes said, “The job creates trust with my coworkers and keeps me determined.”
“I love meeting new people every day,” said Lexis Henton.
Dalia Gibbs said, “I enjoy seeing all the action and I like that the job is fast-paced.”
“The job keeps me motivated because I like my job and I’m good at cleaning,” said Dayshawn Arnold. “I clean at home for myself so I might as well clean for people that really need the help.”
Overall, the Janitorial Services program has made a big difference in the trainees’ lives. They are learning valuable skills to take with them for the future and they are very proud of their accomplishments.