Maine's CHOICES CEO Project
The Power of Work! Disability and Employment Conferences
September 23 & 24, 2008
Augusta Civic Center
Two one-day “Power of Work!” conferences were held in September at the Augusta Civic Center. The first conference, called the “The Art of Creating Opportunity” engaged service providers. “Beyond Barriers,” the second conference, was held the following day and reached out to job seekers and workers with disabilities.
Both conferences were very well attended, credited at least in part to Denise Bissonette, who was the keynote speaker both days. Denise is an internationally renowned writer and trainer from Winnipeg, Canada. During the first day, Denise shared her ‘top twelve employment tools,’ which have been proven effective by thousands of employment counselors and job search trainers.
Attendees were very enthusiastic in their evaluations of Denise’s presentation, with comments such as:
- “Great energy!”
- “I truly appreciate her spirit.”
- “The best speaker at any conference I have ever attended!”
During the second conference, focused on job seekers with disabilities, Denise Bissonette encouraged job seekers to look beyond barriers and shift their perspectives by asking different questions. Instead of “What experience do I have to build on?” ask “What do I love/care about?” and “In what contexts do I have the potential for genius?” In doing so, people tap into the power of their passion. With creative thinking, jobs can be developed that utilize an individual’s unique gifts and offer personal fulfillment.
The second conference also included the first of several Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) to be held in Maine. These community events are being put on by the Maine Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program—a benefits counseling program of the Social Security Administration that is based at Maine Medical Center. People with disabilities who collect Social Security benefits and their families can attend a WISE seminar to learn more about work incentives. For information on WISE seminars being held elsewhere in Maine, contact David Dubay at (207) 662–4387 or DUBAYD@mmc.org.
Download an agenda here (MS Word format).
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