Big Lots named BAC employer of the year

Big Lots #428 (Beechmont Avenue) was awarded Employer of the Year by the Clermont County Business Advisory Council at the Clermont Chamber of Commerce October Monthly Luncheon. From left are: Warren Walker, Duke Energy, luncheon emcee; Dan Ottke, CCDD Assistant Superintendent; Scott Brown, CCDD Community Employment Coordinator; Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor; Doug Barr, Big Lots #428 Assistant Store Manager; Nancy McInturf, Big Lots #428 Store Manager; State Senator Joe Uecker; Michelle Dool, Organization for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency; Gene Johnson, CCDD Job Placement Specialist; Roger Moning, CCDD Job Placement Specialist
Big Lots Store #428 on Beechmont Avenue was honored as the 2013 Business Advisory Council Employer of the Year on Friday, Oct. 11. The award was presented at the Clermont Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon and was given moments before Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor presented the keynote address on important issues taking place in Ohio.

“We are pleased to recognize Big Lots as Employer of the Year,” said Lisa Davis, Director of Community Relations for the Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCDD) and Business Advisory Council member. “The store manager and staff provided exemplary services to individuals with disabilities in 2013.”

Big Lots has participated in numerous community based work assessments with CCDD and other BAC member organizations. These assessments provide individuals the opportunity to learn all aspects of the retail industry. This is a huge undertaking for McInturf’s staff, because it involves training that includes unloading, pricing, and preparing merchandise for the sales floor; recovering and relocating existing merchandise; greeting customers and handing out store advertisements; cart retrieval; and how to provide appropriate customer service.

Big Lots participated in Clermont DD’s Bridges to Transition Program in 2013. This summer youth work opportunity involved Big Lots working with four sets of high school students over an eight-week period to help them learn all aspects of the retail industry. This is very similar to the duties that are taught during community based work assessments—the only difference is, the work assessments usually involved one or two individuals; the Bridges summer program involved training multiple groups of students at one time. McInturf and staff were kind, considerate, and helped the students put the skills they learned during the school year into action within the Big Lots Store.

In addition to the assessments in 2013, Big Lots also hired an individual from CCDD as a merchandise associate to assist with processing incoming shipments within the store.

State Senator Joe Uecker presented a commendation to Big Lots from the Statehouse at the Chamber Luncheon. “Your support of people with disabilities in the workplace is to be applauded,” said Uecker.

The BAC honors business associates and employers each year in October to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, while giving individuals the opportunity to participate in community employment or work assessments. Members of the BAC are Michelle Dool, Organization for Ohioans with Disability (formerly Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commissioner); Cynthia Crews, Workforce One of Clermont County; Cynthia Petrey, Sonshine Childcare; Lisa Walsh, Deimling-Jeliho; Pam Brown, Kroger; and Phil Kish, Round Bottom Recycling. Representatives who serve on the BAC from CCDD are Scott Brown, Gene Johnson, Dan Ottke, Roger Moning, and Lisa Davis.

The BAC has been proud to partner with the Clermont Chamber of Commerce to honor employers each year during their October Monthly Membership Luncheon. For more information about how you can become involved in the BAC, contact Scott Brown at (513) 732-4851 or