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A standing ovation for essential workers nationwide

Standing ovations. Congratulatory notes. A public thank-you. Nothing beats a (metaphorical) pat on the back during stressful times. Now more than ever, professionals with disabilities across the country are being recognized for their efforts in keeping America’s buildings clean during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many in the workforce are able to stay on the job from home, those in charge of keeping buildings clean do not have that option. Their hard work and dedication is a reminder to all of us that people with disabilities are a vital part of our workforce, not just today but in the future.

The Corporate Source (TCS), based in New York, is just one of the nonprofits being touted for the work it is doing every day. Individuals with disabilities employed through TCS provide campus janitorial services at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point through an AbilityOne contract. The AbilityOne Program is one of the largest sources of employment for Americans that are blind or have significant disabilities. The program employs many of the 90,000 individuals within the SourceAmerica network. 

USMMA Superintendent Rear Admiral Jack Buono, United States Maritime Service, recently offered a heartfelt speech to the TCS team to thank them for their dedicated efforts cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing the common office, learning, and living spaces at the Academy. Watch a video of the rear admiral’s remarks.

TCS employees working at USMMA are not the only ones rolling up their sleeves to do essential work. Hundreds of TCS employees are working diligently around the New York metropolitan area, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For example, Michael H., who joined TCS in 2000, is committed to providing tender loving care for the trained canines at an airport kennel for the Department of Homeland Security. “Although I’d rather be home safe with my family, I know that the dogs need to be taken care of every day,” he said. “I come to work to do what has to be done. This is what I signed up for 20 years ago, and we’ve been through times here before with events like 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy. We will get through this, too.” 

“The COVID-19 public health crisis is challenging us in ways we never could have imagined only months ago,” said Michael Kramer, CEO of TCS. “Our employees are on the front lines of our federal work sites, demonstrating incredible determination as they maintain government mail rooms, staff urgently needed hospital switchboards, and perform essential janitorial services requiring enhanced sanitization procedures. People with disabilities are rising to meet present-day essential functions to keep the country running. We are extremely grateful to our employees who continuously head out to their jobs when everyone else is asked to stay at home.”

Whether they are making masks, loading Navy ships, or providing critical janitorial services, the work individuals with disabilities are doing is not going unnoticed. Today and in the future, people with disabilities must be kept top of mind, particularly during times of national and global crises. This talented workforce deserves access to meaningful job opportunities, and SourceAmerica is proud to partner with TCS and hundreds of other nonprofit agencies to make that a reality.

For more information about SourceAmerica, contact

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Established in 1996, The Corporate Source provides people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities with well-paying, secure jobs from New York City and Long Island to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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