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Annual Employment First Awards

Celebrating Employment First Efforts in the Centennial State

The Colorado Employment First awards are presented annually by Colorado APSE. They recognize career seekers, professionals, businesses, and community partners who make exemplary contributions to advancing Employment First. 

2023 Award Winners

Colorado APSE was proud to present the following awards during the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023.  

Wendy M Wood Emerging Leader Award
Winner: Dezirae Gurule, DDRC Employment Services

This award recognizes an emerging leader in Colorado that is developing a vision and creating action toward full inclusion of citizens with disabilities in our society.

Professional for Individual Award
Winner: Malik Clark, DDRC Employment Services

This award recognizes an individual for outstanding state-of-the-art practices and professional achievements in Employment First as a job coach, job developer, employment specialist, or other personnel.

Personal Achievement Award
Winners: Tha Blay and Amber Svitak

This award recognizes an individual’s personal achievement, through integrated employment or self-employment.

Best Practice Award
Winner: Shira Mandel

This award recognizes an organization for outstanding accomplishments in promoting state-of-the-art practices in Employment First.

Excellence in Benefits Counseling Award
Winners: Jan Dabroski and Janelle Barto

This award recognizes work being done to promote the access to or provision of benefits counseling services within the State of Colorado.

Large Employer Award
Winner: Kiewit Infrastructure Engineering

This award recognizes a large employer (50+ employees) that is proving and demonstrating to be an advocate for Employment First through inclusive business practices and recognition of the contributions made to their business by hiring people with disabilities.

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