Marcus... Achieving Your Dream is Possible!
Marcus R. worked two part time jobs at local libraries for years. He was referred to ACCES-VR by the Westchester County Human Resources Department for consideration for a 55-a* position. Marcus had no medical insurance and was interested in obtaining a full-time job with benefits. ACCES-VR provided vocational counseling and an evaluation to determine Marcus’s skills and abilities. As a result of the evaluation, Marcus found that he had issues with performance tasks which affected the results of civil service tests he previously taken. After discussing the 55-a process with ACCES-VR, Marcus reached out to several library directors to discuss the program. The Scarsdale Library was intrigued and upon interview, Marcus was found to be just the right fit for their Library Clerk position. He spoke several languages and would work well with the young people coming to the library. Ms. Elizabeth Bermel, Director of the Scarsdale Library, reached out to ACCES-VR and Integrated Employment Specialist (IES) Michele Green provided the 55-a certification which allowed her to hire Marcus.
Marcus eventually passed his probation at the Scarsdale Library. He now receives medical, eye and dental benefits. He is very happy at his job. He was paired with a coworker to help him prepare for the Library Asst. exam which is the next step on his career pathway. Ms. Bermel confirmed that there is a career ladder available for him at The Scarsdale Public Library pending the results of the exam. Ms. Bermel also sent a note of thanks with a photo of Marcus featured on the library's Facebook page indicating they are ready and available for curbside pickup of resources during the pandemic. Marcus is a prime example of what it means to gain competitive integrated employment.
When asked about what working at the library meant to Marcus, he said: “Working at the Scarsdale Public Library has been a truly wonderful experience. At Scarsdale, you are encouraged to be the very best you can be and reach your full potential. I cannot tell you enough how refreshing it is to work in an environment where your supervisors and co-workers want you to learn and continue to grow as an employee. You are given equal opportunity as everybody else in the workforce and can't help but want to continue to learn and grow. You are taught the same methods and skills as everybody else and are never made to feel different or less than. For that reason, I wholeheartedly recommend anybody looking to enter the library field to never give up and hold on for libraries and staff like Scarsdale because they do in fact exist! Make no mistake, ACCES-VR itself is equally devoted to helping you achieve those dreams.”
In the most recent communication with the library, Ms. Bermel provided the following testimony “Marcus has been a wonderful addition to our team at the Scarsdale Public Library. One of our goals is inclusivity and access for people of all backgrounds and abilities, and we strive to achieve this in our employment practices as well as our programs and services. Marcus' love of learning, friendly, approachable demeanor and willingness to assist in any way possible makes him an outstanding employee. The Library underwent a complete renovation, and opened during the pandemic, and Marcus has played a key role as we reinvent ourselves in the new building and new ways of serving the public. We are so happy with him. Our Assistant Director, Shira, just said to me today, "Marcus is my shining star!"
When asked if we could submit his success story, Marcus said: “If it would help someone else, then it would be my honor.”
*Section 55-a of the New York State Civil Service Law allows a qualified person with a certified mental or physical disability to be hired into competitive civil service positions without having to take an exam.
This story was submitted by Michele Green
Local Workforce Development and Business Relations Representative
White Plains District Office