May 2, 2001
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass. - Amherst College Dining Services has received an Employer Award from the ICE Division of Community Enterprises, a Northampton agency that provides employment, training and educational support to people with disabilities.

Deb Omasta-Mokrzecki, the manager of dining services and student dining, and her staff and managers at Valentine Hall, the college's central dining facility, have worked with Community Enterprises for 13 years, beginning with a handful of group placements with on-site staff. Today six people have permanent jobs at Valentine Hall, where they perform such tasks as running the dishwashers, vacuuming the building, and washing tables in several dining rooms. According to Julie Lococo at Community Enterprises, "the college staff has gone the extra mile to ensure a good opportunity for all."

The ICE Employer Award recognizes individuals or businesses for outstanding support of workers with disabilities. ICE chooses recipients who have demonstrated a positive attitude and excellence in their relations with workers, and have supported and accommodated them on the job.