“Works for Me,” a program of the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has announced that Boro Park Lumber, an employer of Tzvi, an Ohel resident, was the first runner-up for the award in the category of small business employer of the year. The award ceremony took place on Thursday, November 6 in Albany, and Governor Cuomo presented each recipient with the prestigious awards.
The award recognizes Ohel as a top provider of talented employees with disabilities to small businesses, as well as Boro Park Lumber for working with Ohel and successfully employing individuals with disabilities.
The OPWDD award also recognizes Tzvi, an employee of Boro Park Lumber, who lives in Ohel Bais Ezra’s East Broadway residence. Tzvi recently graduated from Ohel Bais Ezra’s day-hab program and now works every day at Boro Park Lumber. They have gradually increased his hours there, and Tzvi has worked hard to become a valued member of the Boro Park Lumber team.
Tzvi began at Boro Park Lumber with the expectation of working up to three hours a week with limited responsibilities. However, after the first hour on his first day, his capabilities and work ethic shined bright. The owner quickly got wind of this—seeing a perfectly completed job—and immediately gave Tzvi more responsibilities and more hours.
Till this day, Tzvi’s work ethic and productivity never waver. “It’s been a pleasure working with Tzvi,” says Joel Rosenberg, manager of Boro Park Lumber. He continued, “He brings happiness into the office, and he always does his job very well.”
“Ohel’s employee program is only a few years old, and we’re so excited that Boro Park Lumber and its employees are the second recipients of an award from OPWDD,” said Rachelle Lewitter, director of Ohel Bais Ezra’s employment services. She continued, “We are extremely proud of Tzvi and all of the hard-working men and women in our program.”
Tzvi’s parents thanked Ohel and Boro Park Lumber for “turning a dream into reality.” They said about the award, “You deserve to be saluted, applauded, and held high as an example for others to follow. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this special moment of pride and joy.”
This job has given Tzvi structure and, above all, purpose. Before having a job, he always felt like there were barriers surrounding his capabilities—always saying, “I don’t know if I can” and, “I don’t know how to.” But when finally given the comfort to voice his truest life goals and desires, working and making money became priority. Thanks to this job, Tzvi’s new life mottos are “Of course I can!” and “I want to, therefore I’ll learn.” He has become a mentor to his peers around him, with the ability to express to others how capable they truly are.
For more information about Ohel Bais Ezra, and to see what services they can provide for you, please call 800-603-OHEL, or visit www.ohelfamily.org.