TOP PHOTO:  Food City for Campbell County is located in the Food City Center at Woodson Mall in La Follette.

ABINGDON, VA (October 23, 2020-SPECIAL TO WLAF) Earlier today, the Council for Exceptional Children Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) presented Food City with their prestigious Employer of the Year award during a virtual awards ceremony.

“I’m humbled and honored to accept this distinguished award on behalf of our entire Food City team – particularly our Store Managers and Human Resource Coordinators, who work diligently to ensure we provide every opportunity possible to enable our associates with disabilities to become an integral part of our team.  They do such a great job and mean so much to our company and our customers,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.

Food City was nominated for the award by a local team, including ETSU’s Dr. Dawn Rowe, a member of the organization, Teresa Smith (UT Center for Literacy, Education and Employment), Susan Arwood (CORE services) and Lottie Ryans (FTDD).  When considering a worthy employer from the region, the committee said Food City topped the list for everyone.

The Employer of the Year award has been given since 1989 and is presented to an employer or business that has shown remarkable commitment to promoting or providing employment opportunities to students with disabilities.  Previous honorees include St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI, JC Penney Distribution Center in Lenexa KS, Bank of America-Delaware, Fifth Third Bank, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Delaware Department of Transportation.

The mission of DCDT is to ‘promote efforts to improve the quality of and access to career/vocational and transition services, increase the participation of education in career development and transition goals, and to influence policies affecting career development and transition services for persons with disabilities’.  DCDT members represent special education teachers, administrators, family members, service providers and researchers.

“Food City has a commitment to youth and adults with disabilities, as is evidenced by the wonderful associates working in their stores across the region,” says Dr. Rowe.  “In learning of this honor, Mr. Smith humbly said ‘it’s not about me, it’s about all of our associates working to make a difference in our community and the lives of those we serve.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/23/2020-1:55PM)