Disability Inclusion Newsletter Vol. 2

Welcome to Maine Medical Center’s (MMC) Department of Vocational Services (DVS), Employer Services newsletter. This newsletter will be distributed quarterly and will provide resources and information pertaining to disability inclusion in Maine’s workforce.

Disability Employment has been a focus of Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services (DVS) for over 40 years. DVS serves both job seekers and businesses. Our mission is to bridge the gap between employment and people with disabilities. DVS partners with many businesses across Maine to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the Maine workforce.

The Employer Services team at MMC's Department of Vocational Services takes a business centric approach through educating employers on the value of disability inclusion. We provide free trainings, strategies, and tools to help businesses across Maine create an inclusive work culture that includes people with disabilities.

Chris and Susan, our Employer Relations Specialists, can provide your organization with more information and suggestions on how to get more involved, please click the link below and reach out to

Visit our Website

Business Partner Spotlight:

Sebago Technics 

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Thank you to Sebago Technics for being a long-term partner with DVS! It is no surprise that Sebago Technics earned the Best Places to Work in ME recognition in 2021!

Over the past several years, Sebago Technics has participated in many partnership activities with our Employment Specialists and DVS job seekers. These activities created exciting opportunities for both Sebago Technics in the arena of workforce recruitment and for our youth and adult job seekers in meeting their career exploration and job placement goals. Partnership activities have included informational interviews, paid trial work experiences, reasonable accommodations support, and job placement. 

Mary J. Kozicki LaFontaine, Director of Employee Development & Engagement, and her teammates, have demonstrated their commitment to Disability Inclusion in their actions and engagement with DVS’s Employment Specialist and job seekers.  Mary recent shared “Working with Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services has been rewarding, beneficial and easy. The Maine Med staff, with whom we have worked, have made the process easy to manage and we have benefited with a new employee.”

DVS looks forward to continuing our partnership with Sebago Technics as a resource for both workforce recruitment and creating a disability inclusive work culture! If your organization wants to know more about how to partner with DVS, please connect with Chris and Susan at:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

What can your organization do?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, and rising inflation, it’s little surprise that annual surveys collected by the CDC chart a steady rise in reported depression/anxiety disorders in U.S. adults, with rates hitting an unsettling high of 31.5% in the first quarter of 2022. Results from a 2021 study by Harvard University showed a similar trend, with 67% of participants reporting at least one symptom of a mental health condition in the past year, up from 59% in 2019. Another common finding of recent research is the significant impact that workplace conditions can have on an employee’s wellbeing-- an overwhelming 84% of Harvard’s respondents reported at least one workplace factor that negatively impacted their mental health.

We know that more Americans are struggling with mental health conditions; what can businesses do to best support their employees? Creating a plan and taking meaningful steps towards improving workplace culture, raising mental health awareness, and bolstering employee assistance resources are great places to start. Your plan might include discussing mental health policies and stress management tips during regular meetings, promoting local mental health resources in company newsletters, and/or creating safe, confidential channels for employees to voice concerns (+ tackling the issues ASAP).

From poor job performance and productivity, to absenteeism and employee turnover— across the U.S. economy, mental illness causes an estimated $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year. In addition to fulfilling an ethical responsibility, investing in your employee’s mental health is a savvy business decision! Employees who feel supported by their employer tend to be less likely to experience mental health symptoms, underperform, or miss work. They have higher job satisfaction, longer tenure, and have more positive views of their company and its leaders.

Some practical suggestions for creating a more inclusive work culture for individuals with mental health conditions:

  • Be empathic and patient.
  • Let your colleague know that you are there if they need someone to talk to, but don’t force them to open up if they aren’t ready.
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice or try to “fix” the person.
  • Avoid phrases that can minimize an individual’s feelings, such as “it could be worse” or “you should be thankful for…”
  • If asked for advice, encourage connecting with Employee Assistance Program or other resources available through your organization or the community.


Ready to learn more and make a plan? There are great online resources to help.

  • The American Psychiatric Association’s Center for Workplace Mental Health has abundant resources for employers including toolkits and campaigns about mental health in the workplace.  
  • The CDC’s Workplace Health Resource Center (WHRC) is a one-stop shop of resources to create a healthy work environment and includes an excellent section specific to Mental Health in the Workplace (

Training Corner Update

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The Employer Services team has been busy providing free customized trainings on an array of topics to Maine Businesses, Associations, and other groups. Chris and Susan were hosted in April by the Diversity Hiring Coalition of Maine (DHC) to present an Introduction to Disability Inclusion. This training was a great opportunity to introduce disability inclusion to DHC members, many of whom hold roles in DEI and HR within their respected businesses. Attendance at the training was fantastic and the discussion within the breakout rooms to follow was inspiring.

If you are interested in potentially hosting a training within your organization, please reach out to the Employer Services Team – The team is happy to create customized trainings that fit your needs. Feel free to check out our training topics on our website (Link above). You can also sign up for our upcoming rolling training – Highlight below. 

Lunch & Learn Training

Intro To Disability Inclusion

Date: June 29 

Time: 12-1

Where: Zoom

Interested in learning more about disability inclusion as a resource to workforce challenges? Then sign up for our free of charge, 1 hour interactive webinar below.

This interactive webinar is an opportunity for businesses to learn more about the value of disability inclusion and will be available on a quarterly basis. The Employer Services team will provide an overview of disability and practical suggestions for creating a diverse, inclusive and sustainable workforce.

If this time doesn't work for you, no worries! Please feel free to reach out and the Employer Services team is happy to customize a training for your specific organization.

Click Here to Register

Our Job Seekers are looking for...

MMC's Department of Vocational Services works with over 1000 job seekers a year, many of whom have a wide variety of skills, education, work histories and abilities. Currently our job seekers are looking for the following positions, among others. Please reach out to our Employer Services Team if you are actively hiring for any of these positions -

  • Part-Time REMOTE Customer Services
  • Architectural Designer or Drafter
  • Data Analytics Specialist
  • Receptionist
  • Part-time Driver
  • Entry –level office work
  • Scanning and Data Entry
  • Material Handling/Stocking
  • Social Worker (LCSW)


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