Recognizing Outstanding Employer Partners

NTID Focus
Kathy A. Johncox, NTID FOCUS, Summer 2013
For more than 35 years, the NTID Center on Employment has been developing and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of employers. These relationships foster employment opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates. The value of such relationships for employers is the state-of-the-art skills and diversity that RIT/NTID students and graduates can add to their workforce.

To recognize these important partnerships, in 2010, NCE established the Outstanding Employer Partner Awards.

"Employer partnerships are key to our successful employment program for students and graduates," says John Macko, NCE director. "Once employers see the caliber of our students, they tend to hire again and again. We created the Outstanding Employers Partner Award to recognize and thank employers who continue to hire our students and graduates, or who otherwise participate in the job-related program NCE offers."

The awards are presented during NTID's annual October job Fair to employers who have a sustained record of hiring RIT/NTID students or graduates. Partners often are supportive in other ways such as hosting workshops, participating in the NTID Job Fair and providing other employment-related services to RIT/NTID. Honors are presented in three categories: corporations and federal government; educational institutions/non-profit organizations and local/state governments; and small- to –mid-sized companies.
Winners of the Outstanding Employer Partner Awards for 2012 were:
Bender consulting Services, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sorenson Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah
City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.

Sorenson Communications®
Sorenson Communications is a provider of communications products and services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. These products include videophones, Sorenson Video Relay Service® and software applications, among others. The partnership between Sorenson and NCE began in 2005, and in the last five years, Sorenson has hired 18 full-time workesr and provided work for 17 co-op students.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in Applied Arts and Sciences in 2011 and certification in computer graphics, Dolly Dalal applied online for a technical support position and was hired at Soreneson's Rochester office. She feels it's been a good fit for her.

"I brought good skills to my technical support position at Sorenson," says Dalal. "I feel comfortable in this work environment because my teams and managers are good communicators and they are fun to work with. I continue to learn and that enables me to help the organization stay at the top of the field."

Lance Pickett, senior technical support advisor at Sorenson Communications, says, "We continue to hire RIT/NTID students for co-ops and permanent jobs because we want to contribute to the development of professionalism and business/technical skills among university students preparing to enter the workforce as well as identify potential employees who would be valuable for our department. Sorenson is honored to receive this recognition, and we look forward to continuing to work with RIT/NTID to maintain our valuable relationship."

This story by Kathy A. Johncox appeared in FOCUS Magazine, Spring/Summer 2013, published by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. Used with permission.

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