Flowers Cut Weekly

“We like that the Challenge Commercial Cleaning team was willing to work with us on a posted weekly checklist. Anything comes up we leave it for the night crew and it’s taken care of before we return in the morning. Nice communication tool between our management staff and off-hours cleaning crew.”

Bryan, Ithaca

Glen Robertson
Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

Ability in Bloom was inspired by one young man, Adam. Adam has been growing flowers and food on a volunteer basis through programs at Challenge since 2008. Adam has tried various jobs at Challenge and in the community, but he is not able to work on his own. What Adam does have are the skills to help grow flowers as part of a larger team. Adam is also an artist whose paintings show a unique vision. His work appears in the logo for our business.

Ability in Bloom launched in 2015 as a means of providing Adam and other Challenge clients who are not ready or able to make the leap into community employment with job skills training and a stable, community- based work opportunity. The workers in this innovative social enterprise are able to use their unique abilities to be productive members of a team. Employees of Ability in Bloom work out in the field and at sales locations to produce beautiful flowers. Some of our employees may move on to other jobs or stay as permanent members of the team.
This year, we have formed a partnership with Take Your Pick Flower Farm in Lansing, NY. We aim to show that employing workers with disabilities can help small businesses expand while maintaining a healthy bottom line.
Currently, we grow flowers at the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming Incubator Farm at Ecovillage and at the Ithaca Community Garden. Next year, we will grow at the Incubator Farm while transitioning our operations to a permanent location.

For further information please contact Glen Robertson by completing this form in as much detail as possible:

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SUCCESS STORIES: JUSTYN G.

Eagle Scout. Graduate student. Emerging expert in cybersecurity and counterespionage. Challenge participant.

“Justyn came to us with a great background and a great attitude,” says Evie Karnes, Challenge Workforce Solutions's Business Outreach Coordinator. “We’ve helped him to find a work experience at Cornell University while he completes a master’s degree remotely. He tells me how much he likes his job, and his supervisor tells me that she wishes everyone worked as hard as he does.”

Justyn, a Tompkins County native, has long been passionate about using technology to serve the public good.

Active in the B.S.A. Taughannock District - Baden Powell Council (Boy Scouts of America), Justyn earned the rank of Eagle Scout with a service project that involved creating a digital index to the historic Grove Cemetery in Trumansburg, NY.

The following year he entered Tompkins Cortland Community College, where he pursued an A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems and worked on the campus tech support team. He then matriculated at Penn State, studying Telecommunications and Security and Risk Analysis and obtaining a letter of recognition from the NSA - National Security Agency.

Last year, Justyn started Utica College's M.A. in Cybersecurity–Computer Forensics, a fully online program where he’ll hone his investigative skills and explore cutting-edge methods of defending against fraud, infiltration, and terrorism.

Meanwhile, Justyn decided to further enrich his experience in the field with a real-world work placement. As he had at various times since high school, he sought out the advice of Tompkins Workforce New York-Under 25. “They’ve helped me out tremendously,” Justyn remarks of their career and education services. “They’ve helped me form a good idea of where I want to go and stay on track.”

Workforce New York referred Justyn to Evie at Challenge and they soon discovered an opportunity to collaborate with the leaders of Information Technologies at Cornell. His supervisor, Rebecca Joffrey, is the university’s IT Innovation Officer. She explains, “Justyn is using a data visualization tool called Tableau Software to create dashboards that will show us what categories of technology products are growing in use and what’s needed to support administration, research, and learning across the whole institution.”

“Justyn didn’t skip a beat,” Rebecca adds. “His technical skills are strong and he’s accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. He’s also really comfortable reaching out to people and tapping their expertise.”

As for what’s next, Justyn will have an array of meaningful and lucrative career paths to consider. “My goal is to get my security clearance,” he proposes, “And then possibly work in the United States Air Force, or possibly in the private sector as a security advisor.”

Evie, who continues to support and encourage Justyn through his work experience, enthuses, “I can’t wait to see what he does next!"
... See MoreSee Less

SUCCESS STORIES: JUSTYN G. 

Eagle Scout. Graduate student. Emerging expert in cybersecurity and counterespionage. Challenge participant. 

“Justyn came to us with a great background and a great attitude,” says Evie Karnes, Challenge Workforce Solutionss Business Outreach Coordinator. “We’ve helped him to find a work experience at Cornell University while he completes a master’s degree remotely. He tells me how much he likes his job, and his supervisor tells me that she wishes everyone worked as hard as he does.” 

Justyn, a Tompkins County native, has long been passionate about using technology to serve the public good.  

Active in the B.S.A. Taughannock District - Baden Powell Council (Boy Scouts of America), Justyn earned the rank of Eagle Scout with a service project that involved creating a digital index to the historic Grove Cemetery  in Trumansburg, NY. 

The following year he entered Tompkins Cortland Community College, where he pursued an A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems and worked on the campus tech support team. He then matriculated at Penn State, studying Telecommunications and Security and Risk Analysis and obtaining a letter of recognition from the NSA - National Security Agency. 

Last year, Justyn started Utica Colleges M.A. in Cybersecurity–Computer Forensics, a fully online program where he’ll hone his investigative skills and explore cutting-edge methods of defending against fraud, infiltration, and terrorism. 

Meanwhile, Justyn decided to further enrich his experience in the field with a real-world work placement. As he had at various times since high school, he sought out the advice of Tompkins Workforce New York-Under 25. “They’ve helped me out tremendously,” Justyn remarks of their career and education services. “They’ve helped me form a good idea of where I want to go and stay on track.” 

Workforce New York referred Justyn to Evie at Challenge and they soon discovered an opportunity to collaborate with the leaders of Information Technologies at Cornell. His supervisor, Rebecca Joffrey, is the university’s IT Innovation Officer. She explains, “Justyn is using a data visualization tool called Tableau Software to create dashboards that will show us what categories of technology products are growing in use and what’s needed to support administration, research, and learning across the whole institution.” 

“Justyn didn’t skip a beat,” Rebecca adds. “His technical skills are strong and he’s accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. He’s also really comfortable reaching out to people and tapping their expertise.” 

As for what’s next, Justyn will have an array of meaningful and lucrative career paths to consider. “My goal is to get my security clearance,” he proposes, “And then possibly work in the United States Air Force, or possibly in the private sector as a security advisor.” 

Evie, who continues to support and encourage Justyn through his work experience, enthuses, “I can’t wait to see what he does next!

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Did you know that January is #NationalBrailleLiteracyMonth?

While Braille literacy has declined in the age of screen readers, and audiobooks, Braille is still an important communication tool, especially for folks who have less access to or experience with the online world.

Our marketing guy took this picture last year at the South African Library for the Blind, located in the Eastern Cape, where only 5% of homes have direct internet access. The library contains over 24,000 titles in Braille, audio, and tactile (for children) formats––and offers free listening devices and free postal delivery nationwide.

[Curious to know how a blind or visually impaired person would perceive this photo? Right-click on it and select 'Inspect Element.']

Back here at Challenge Workforce Solutions, we've been slowly but surely replenishing everyone's business card stashes with versions from MorningPrint that feature Braille printing in clear raised ink (which doesn't disrupt the underlying ink text like old-school Braille embossers tend to do).
... See MoreSee Less

Did you know that January is #NationalBrailleLiteracyMonth? 

While Braille literacy has declined in the age of screen readers, and audiobooks, Braille is still an important communication tool, especially for folks who have less access to or experience with the online world.

Our marketing guy took this picture last year at the South African Library for the Blind, located in the Eastern Cape, where only 5% of homes have direct internet access. The library contains over 24,000 titles in Braille, audio, and tactile (for children) formats––and offers free listening devices and free postal delivery nationwide.

[Curious to know how a blind or visually impaired person would perceive this photo? Right-click on it and select Inspect Element.]

Back here at Challenge Workforce Solutions, weve been slowly but surely replenishing everyones business card stashes with versions from MorningPrint that feature Braille printing in clear raised ink (which doesnt disrupt the underlying ink text like old-school Braille embossers tend to do).
Load more