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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

An Enormous Untapped Talent Pool: People with Disabilities

Recognizing October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I recently visited an innovative Connecticut microbusiness that employs people with disabilities in the landscaping industry. The Arc of New London County's Lawn and Landscaping Crew was busy mowing the lawn at the Norwich Fish and Game Club, one of their many local business customers.

Employees with disabilities represent an enormous untapped talent pool that employers tend to overlook - to their own detriment.

ARC

Employees with disabilities can boost business success, according to several recent studies. People with disabilities are innovative, natural problem solvers, are more grateful for work and therefore far more dedicated and passionate than average employees. Businesses are beginning to understand that hiring someone with a disability is not a good deed or charity work, but a strategic business advantage. Also, customers are increasingly aware of corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion.

If you are interested in hiring the Arc NLC’s Lawn & Landscape Crew, call 860-608-0270 for a quote. For more information about The Arc NLC’s employment programs, visit www.thearcnlc.org or call 860-449-1529.

Congratulations to the Shoreline's 2017 Women of Excellence Awardees

I recently joined the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce in honoring the 2017 Women of Excellence Awardees. Each year, local chambers from across the region shoreline's economic and civic life. The 2017 Awardees are: Cindy Stevens, Clinton; Peg Schofield, Killingworth; Fran Murphy, North Branford; Kathy Dess, Madison; Nikki Travaglino, Guilford; Lauren Harris, Old Saybrook; and Eunice Lasala, Branford. Thank you for all that you do to make the shoreline a great place to live and work!

kennedy

Toxic Coal Tar Ban Takes Effect

A bill I introduced to ban coal tar sealants on state and local highways became law this month. Coal tar, which is used as a roadway, driveway, and surface sealant, contains high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known to be cancer-causing. Unlike asphalt sealants, coal tar sealants are not stable products, and break down over time into dust particles. These particles contaminate street dust that children can breathe or seep into waterways where they poison aquatic life. Cleaning up coal tar contamination has cost some municipalities hundreds of millions of dollars in remediation expenses.

The town of Pomfret, Connecticut recently used coal tar-based sealants without realizing the risks. Following a local outcry, Pomfret is now moving to enact a local ban on any future use of coal tar. Pomfret’s First Selectman is now among those calling for passage of a statewide ban.