Timothy Vernon is a top performer in Eversource Energy’s Westwood call center. Vernon, who is blind, credits that success to the accommodations Eversource provides to ensure he reaches his full potential.
Their accomplishments will be celebrated by UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits at the 2017 Raise the Bar Hire! Conference on Oct. 5. In addition to the awards, the two-day annual event includes keynotes, educational sessions and a half-day career fair.
“Tim’s achievements at Eversource show us that when companies make a commitment to hire people with disabilities and ensure that employees have the appropriate tools, everyone can benefit,” said Work Without Limits Director Kathleen A. Petkauskos, who will present the awards. “Eversource is a leader because they see opportunity in diversity, and believe all abilities can and should be represented in their workforce.”
Vernon will be presented the Exemplary Employee Award, given annually to an individual who provides top-notch service in a team environment. The Mansfield resident has earned exceptional customer satisfaction scores during his eight years on the job, and was promoted earlier this year to senior customer service representative. He uses Braille and adaptive technology to handle phone and e-mail inquiries from customers.
“As a result of their commitment to a diverse workforce, I am able to complete my job independently and customers do not know I am blind,” Vernon said of Eversource. “Prior to joining Eversource, I had gone on over 75 job interviews and heard excuses for why a blind person couldn't be in that organization. The Eversource human resource department saw that hiring me was an opportunity to think critically about how I could positively impact their team.”
Eversource Energy will be honored with the Exemplary Employer Award for its dedication to employees like Vernon. The company’s Diversity & Inclusion Council is committed to building and maintaining a heterogeneous workforce, fostering employee acceptance of people with diverse perspectives, and giving employees the break—and the tools—they need to succeed.
“There is no one more deserving of this honor than Tim. His perseverance, hard work, and positive approach to life inspire each and every one of us, every day,” said Eversource Vice President of Customer Operations Jessica Cain. “With Tim on our team, not only are our customers receiving a phenomenal level of service, I can honestly say we’re a better company.”
The fifth annual Raise the Bar Hire! event is scheduled for Oct. 5-6, 2017. Day one of the conference will feature the award presentations along with a keynote address delivered by world renowned autism advocate Temple Grandin. On day two, Oct. 6, job seekers with disabilities will have the opportunity to meet and network with some of Massachusetts’ leading employers during a half-day career fair.
Work Without Limits is a network of employers and partners established in 2008 to increase employment among individuals with disabilities. It provides training and consultative services to employers, individuals with disabilities, family members, state agencies and employment service providers. Work Without Limits aims to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation where the employment rate of people with disabilities is equal to people without disabilities.