DWS Press Release
October 24, 2017

Local Employers Honored for Going the Extra Mile to Serve Individuals with Disabilities

Four local businesses and one advocate that empower individuals with disabilities were honored with Golden Key Awards presented by the Utah Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the Department of Workforce Services, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation on October 24.

The recipients of the 43rd annual Golden Key Awards were Liquid Nutra Group, CNA Training Center, Utah Transit Authority, GE Healthcare and Sidney Smith. The award recipients were nominated by their peers for their outstanding contributions that promote employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, including veterans.

"These employers and leaders have had a great impact on the people they serve in their communities," said Leah Lobato, director of the Utah Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. "Their dedication to go the extra mile in serving those with disabilities and veterans is admirable and inspires other organizations to follow suit."

The Large Employer of the Year award was presented to Utah Transit Authority (UTA) in Salt Lake City for its outstanding effort to serve people with disabilities who are clients and within its workforce. UTA provides a disability sensitivity panel as part of its new employee orientation to increase awareness and improve interactions between clients and employees with disabilities.

CNA Training Centers in Salt Lake City was recognized with the Medium Employer of the Year award for focusing on a person's abilities instead of their disabilities. One of CNA Training Center's best employees is a nurse who is blind that teaches students how to care for patients. Liquid Nutra Group in Vernal, won the Small Employer of the Year award for making it a priority to hire individuals with disabilities and help them build autonomy and develop skills.

The Ace award was given to Sidney Smith of Vernal for being a mentor to others with similar disabilities and circumstances as himself being a double amputee. He doesn't let his disability stop him from running. swimming and biking. He recently completed a half Ironman and continues to work and support his family.

GE Healthcare in Logan received the Freedom Award for showing commitment to hiring veterans and working with them face-to-face to identify their specific needs and concerns. It works closely with Veterans Affairs and state-supported programs to hire veterans.

Special recognitions were also given to St. George City for their work on the Thunder Junction All Access Park and to the state’s use of the Alternative State Application Program. In addition, Walmart provided scholarships to students with disabilities: Andy Hiatt, Kyra Chambers, Hannah Clay and Katie Draper.

For more information, visit usor.utah.gov/vr/golden-key.