A woman stands in a florist and gift shop holding a lily

Celebrating NDEAM With a Blooming Partnership

In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on our wonderful business partner, Forever Yours Flowers and Gift Shop!

Forever Yours Flowers and Gifts, a charming floral retail shop, has been gracing the Peekskill, NY, community with its artful bouquets and gifts for three decades. This year, as they celebrate their 30th anniversary, they have more than just longevity to be proud of. They’re celebrating an enduring commitment to inclusion in the workplace and community partnership.

The shop is owned by husband-and-wife team, Mario and Debbi Disisto. Mario Disisto, when asked about their business, shared their journey: “We are a floral retail shop that has been in the same location on 20 Welcher Avenue for decades. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year.” But their story isn’t just about flowers; it’s about fostering a spirit of inclusion and providing an opportunity for people with disabilities to bloom.

Businesses who hire people through the CBS Supported Employment program enjoy many benefits, such as tax incentives and lower recruitment costs. Why did Mario and Debbi decide the program was a good fit for their business?  Mario’s response was touching and resolute. “We have always worked with people with some sort of disability, whether or not they were part of a program. This is close to my heart. I do have a nephew with a disability. I’ve always appreciated organizations that help folks with disabilities, and I strive to help as a business.”

This dedication led to the employment of Dianna, a diligent staff member. Dianna, in her role at the floral shop, works a few hours a couple of days a week. Her responsibilities are vital to the shop’s operations as she helps condition the flowers when they are first delivered to the store. This process involves cutting, cleaning, and watering the flowers, ensuring they’re in their prime for sale. But her contribution doesn’t stop there. Dianna is also learning the art of flower arrangement and crafts beautiful bouquets for her family members.

The owner’s advice to businesses considering hiring individuals with disabilities is both profound and pragmatic: “People should always be given the opportunity to show what they can do. They can be trained to do certain kinds of work, and it gives them purpose.”

In fact, statistics show that people with disabilities have high retention rates and are highly reliable. Dianna has proven to be a stellar example. “Our Dianna never misses a day. She is the most punctual and dedicated employee I have here. It’s good for her to be part of the community, and it is so satisfying for her and for me and my wife,” says Mario.

The partnership between Forever Yours Flowers and Gifts and CBS exemplifies the spirit of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrating the exceptional contributions that people with disabilities bring to the workforce. It’s also a reminder of the important role businesses have in the equity equation. Mario and Debbi Disisto chose to embrace diversity and inclusion in their workforce and in doing so, their business thrives and the community flourishes.

To learn more about Forever Yours Flowers and Gifts, please visit: https://www.foreveryoursflowersngifts.com/



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