As a leader in healthcare, Northwell is committed to cultivating and fostering diversity so that we may better serve our communities and patients. Our Workforce Readiness team helps provide a supportive, caring and inclusive environment for our employees all year long. In 2017, they developed the Path to Inclusion program to help people with disabilities take advantage of our opportunities and achieve success in their careers. The program launched to great success and has recently been announced as a winner of a Diversity Excellence Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)!
Lesly St. Louis is proud to be a part of this award winning Path to Inclusion program. As an Inclusion Specialist at Northwell Health, Lesly works as a liaison with candidates to help facilitate employment for individuals with disabilities. As part of this mission, Lesly develops important partnerships for outreach and manages the Path to Inclusion seminars. These seminars help candidates with resume writing, interview tips, networking, the hiring process and more.
“I have been advocating for individuals with disabilities – a group of which I am a proud member – for most of my life,” says Lesly, “The biggest challenges we have to overcome are not the disabilities, but the stigma surrounding them.” And this is a stigma both Lesly and Northwell are working to eliminate, “Connecting our recruiters and hiring managers to individuals with disabilities through specialized events such as workshops fosters direct communication, furthering our shared goals of creating an inclusive workforce.”
Our 2018 Intern Finale Celebration included some of our Bridges to Adelphi graduates!
Another important part of Northwell’s Path to Inclusion program is our Bridges to Adelphi. Northwell partnered with Adelphi University to develop this model student internship for college students who are on the Autism Spectrum or have communication or social adjustment challenges. This nationally recognized program allows for students to gain invaluable work experience in meaningful job positions, helping them build skill sets for successful careers upon graduation – and careers with Northwell! The 2018 summer program boasted 6 interns with 5 students moving into full-time positions.
“It is truly an honor to have partnered with the Bridges to Adelphi program. This is our second year working with them and it has been an amazing experience. I enjoy mentoring and finding meaningful internship placements with some turning into full time jobs for them to grow and flourish in.” says Elizabeth Zgaljardic, an HR Coordinator with the Workforce Readiness team, “It’s inspiring to work with these remarkable students and the entire staff at Bridges to Adelphi. Just one of the many highlights in working for Workforce Readiness!”
Northwell’s N-Able Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) is another asset Path to Inclusion’s efforts. The Workforce Readiness team co-chairs this BERG with Zucker Hillside, aiming to further expand our inclusive hiring efforts with resources and awareness. Rolling out system-wide in September, N-Able will host celebrations, events, and workshops as well as aid provide an information database. This database will allow for all employees to easily see what inclusive resources Northwell offers.
“The N-Able BERG is a resource to assist employees in increasing awareness of Northwell Health’s disability services,” says Cheryl Davidson, Senior Director of Workforce Readiness, “our goal is to help educate and bring together people who understand that our uniqueness makes us stronger.”
And the Path to Inclusion program goes beyond just these key initiatives! Between speaking at national events and continually engaging and educating employees, the Workforce Readiness team is developing and strengthening our diverse and inclusive team. “I am so proud to work for an organization that takes action to ensure all of its employees feel included and important,” says Cheryl. Northwell is proud to be Truly Ourselves and will continue to stand united, proud and respectful in celebrating our differences. Congratulations again to the Workforce Readiness team!