North Central College - Naperville, IL

College receives Outstanding Employer Award from disability group

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of media relations, 630-637-5306

Oct. 15, 2010--North Central College was recognized with an Outstanding Employer Award by Parents Alliance Employment Project (PAEP) as an employer that hires and supports individuals with disabilities.

North Central was honored at PAEP's third annual Employer Appreciation Breakfast Oct. 13 for its hiring and ongoing support of Adam Swanson of Naperville, Ill., who has been employed at the College part time as an office assistant since fall 2009.

Swanson, age 23 and a 2005 graduate of Naperville Central High School, has Down syndrome. He works several hours each week and reports to the College's Office of Community Development and supervisor Ken Hannah (photo, left), senior program director in conference services.

"Adam is a great help to us and works well in an office setting," says Hannah. "He performs various tasks, like stuffing inserts to our fine arts programs and letters to our alumni in envelopes, shredding papers and maintaining coat check numbers at our box office. He's also very popular on campus. In fact, he recently helped us with a big event on campus and more people stopped and asked for him than they did me, and I was in charge of the event."

In presenting the award to North Central College, PAEP case worker and employment specialist Ami Chambers said, "Adam is very independent on the job. His supervisor Ken has done an outstanding job and taken Adam under his wing and taught him how to work in an office and be very professional."

Based in Lisle, Ill., PAEP is an organization devoted to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through individualized employment services. It partners with employers and human resource professionals in DuPage County that are interested in learning how to include people with developmental disabilities in their workforce. North Central has worked with PAEP and hired clients in addition to Swanson. This year's award recognizes the College's exceptional support in working with Swanson.

North Central College was among six companies that received the 2010 Outstanding Employer Award. PAEP schedules its Employer Appreciation Breakfast each October to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

North Central College provides equal employment opportunity to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap or disability. Founded in 1861, North Central is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central is recognized as one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, which cites it as one of the top six schools in the Midwest for "Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching"; as "a college for high-achieving students" by Peterson's Competitive Colleges; and as one of "America's Best Colleges" by Forbes. North Central College is located in Naperville, Ill., and affiliated with the United Methodist Church.