The Pennington Quality Market (PQM) has been selected to receive the Employer of the Year Award from the New Jersey APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First).
“PQM has partnered with our Special Education Transition program over the years to not only give our students job sampling and career exploration opportunities, but employ them after they have aged out or graduated,” stated Maryann Babice, Transition Teacher and Structured Learning Experience Coordinator at Hopewell Valley CentralHighSchool. “PQM employees train our students with patience, listen with interest, and celebrate their successes; students are valued for their abilities and strengths,” she added.
APSE has played a critical role in establishing supported employment as a viable service for individuals with disabilities.
Through advocacy and education, APSE advances employment and self sufficiency for all people with disabilities. This award confers statewide recognition of an employer who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the employment of people with disabilities. Supported employment emphasizes the benefits of having opportunities for real, integrated work as a first choice of persons with disabilities. Such employment provides the individual a real job, benefits and the dignity that arises from gainful employment.
Owned and operated by the Rothwell family, the PQM has served the Hopewell Valley Community for over 35 years. Mrs. Babice presented the award to PQM at the NJ APSE annual conference, Facing the Future 24 – Discovering a World of Employment Opportunities, which is cosponsored by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities and APSE, on March 18, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick.
“The strong partnership PQM has forged with our high school transition program allows our students to learn about jobs at theMarket.,”said Special Education Supervisor, Paulette DiNardo. “Working at PQM allows our students to develop skills that will empower them to take the lead in their own career planning. This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Pennington Quality Market,” she added.
Photo: From left to right are Charlie Coward, Store Manager, Deb Delutis, Front End Customer Service Manager, Michael Rothwell and Larry Rothwell, owners of PQM and Maryann Babice, Transition Teacher at Central High School.