DUXBURY, MA – Leo Vercollone, CEO of the convenience store and Mobil/Gulf gas station chain VERC Enterprises, spoke about the value of hiring people with Down syndrome at the recent Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress event, which helped retailers and other business owners learn more about how employees with the condition can contribute well to the workforce. At the upcoming NACS Show, VERC Enterprises will be one of nine companies featured in the NACS video presentation Ideas 2 Go.
The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress kicked off its “Your Next Star” campaign at the event, where it launched the website www.yournextstar.com, which focuses on why people with Down syndrome can make excellent employees. “Employees with Down syndrome and other disabilities typically show more loyalty and lower turnover than their non-disabled peers,” the website says. “And their job performance ratings are the same. But they have drastically higher unemployment rates. That’s why we created Your Next Star … to open the eyes of employers in Massachusetts to the power of people with Down syndrome in the workforce, and help them find the qualified candidates they need.”
VERC Enterprises has hired people with intellectual and physical disabilities for more than two decades, and currently, more than 20% of the company’s workforce consists of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Speaking of people with Down syndrome, Vercollone said, “Their poise, presence and self-satisfaction shine through, just the same as anyone who enjoys and takes pride in their work.”
He added: “As a long-time proponent of hiring people with disabilities, I am keenly aware that by working with agencies that facilitate and promote opportunities for individuals with physical or mental disabilities and associated challenges and offering employment, we supply much more than a paycheck. I applaud the MDSC and its mission to ensure that individuals with Down syndrome in Massachusetts are valued, included and given opportunities to pursue fulfilling lives and careers.”