Colchester manufacturer honored for employing disabled
A manufacturer based in Colchester has earned the Employer of the Year award from Easter Seals for helping people with disabilities transition into the working world.
S&S Worldwide accepted the honor Feb. 4 at the Easter Seals Capital Region and Eastern Connecticut Annual Meeting and Donor Appreciation Reception in Hartford.
“To truly understand S&S Worldwide’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, one needs only to spend an afternoon walking through their warehouse and offices and stopping to chat with the employees,” Easter Seals vocational specialist Rick Geisman said. “You quickly realize that there is a culture of acceptance and understanding throughout the building. You also realize that this isn’t new. S&S has individuals with disabilities who have worked for them for over 25 years.”
S&S Worldwide has a history of helping those with disabilities dating back to the 1930s, with the introduction of partially finished leather products for rehabilitation for the blind and handicapped. By 1945, Veterans Affairs hospitals and other rehabilitation programs made up the largest segment of the company’s customer base.
“Over the years, our company has received many awards, but never for the kind of company we are,” S&S chief executive officer Stephen Schwartz said. “We continue to advocate for people with disabilities in order to maximize their independence and self-sufficiency.”
Company co-president Hy Schwartz called the award special, because it speaks to the depth of the company’s commitment to disabled employees and customers.
“We’ve built our success by helping people play and learn, but our products also help people heal and adapt to life’s ever-changing needs,” Schwartz said.
Easter Seals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut serves about 2,000 patients each year. It provides outpatient medical, vocational and educational rehabilitation to children and adults with disabilities.