National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

During the month of October, we celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) The month highlighted the contributions of America's workers with disabilities and showcased supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices.

Via of the Lehigh Valley helps businesses meet their employment and production goals while diversifying their workforce through its Employment Services Department. Cigars International and Sterner Stems are just two of many local businesses that partner with Via.

Since 2017, Cigars International has hosted a ViaWorks site at its Bethlehem facility. Under the supervision of Via job coaches, participants work side by side with Cigars International employees. An operations manager for the company said: "The employees from ViaWorks are a part of our team - they work hard and deserve to participate in our community's workforce."

Recently, the ViaWorks team had four days to build 1,600 sample boxes with 44 different cigars (handling more than 70,000 cigars). They crushed their goals!

Alaya, who has a visual impairment, works at Sterner Stems in Allentown and has become an integral part of the team through Via's Community Employment program. 

Store owner Melissa Sterner is glad she hired Alaya and thinks other employers should consider hiring workers with disabilities. "Alaya is incredible. She is very aware of herself. She finishes and completes a task, every task I tell her. More than almost any employee I've ever worked with," Sterner said.

Click here to watch the story by Bo Koltnow of 69News to learn more about Alaya and her inclusive employer, Melissa Sterner. 

Building Skills and Achieving Goals

Bobby loves his job working at Josh Early Candies, but he also loves working with animals. 

Through Via's Community Connections program, Bobby started volunteering at an animal shelter in the spring. He first learned all about caring for cats, including socializing and playing with the cats, feeding them, and cleaning litter boxes. 

Recently, Bobby expressed his interest in working with dogs at the shelter. Bobby went through the shelter's training to work in the "Dog Zone" before taking a few dogs on their afternoon walk. He also helped prepare and serve snacks for them.

Bobby is supported by his DSP, Peter, and the staff at the shelter as he volunteers and explores his interest in working with animals while building his skills and knowledge. 

Happy Halloween at Via

Everyone was in a Happy Halloween mood at Via, enjoying several activities. 

Community Connections participants carved Jack-o-Lanterns during a field day. They took advantage of the great fall weather and enjoyed the day socializing with friends and carving pumpkins. 

This activity would not have been possible without the generous pumpkin donations by Giant Food Store, Sustainable Country Gentleman, and Debra. We truly appreciate the community's support! 

From our administrative staff to Via participants across Small Group Employment sites and our on-site workshop, everyone showed their Halloween spirit with costumes, office decorating, and more!

Via Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

Via offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving so our staff can enjoy the holiday with their families and friends.


We are very grateful for you and your support. We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday. 

Via of the Lehigh Valley |
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