DRTC, also known as Dale Rogers Training Center, celebrated its clients, employees, partners and donors, as well as 70 years of DRTC’s impact and achievements at its 70th Anniversary Gala.
DRTC, founded in 1953 by a group of parents as an educational center for children with disabilities, has since transformed into a vocational and employment center. Every year, the private 501(c)3 nonprofit agency trains, serves, or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities. Last program year, people employed across DRTC’s vast programs earned more than $6 million in wages.
The event, held at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown Medical Center, was emceed by 2021 Miss Oklahoma Ashleigh Robinson, who is a fierce advocate for Danielle, her younger sister with Down syndrome.
DRTC recognized the efforts of several people as well as business partners during the event across several categories: Equitability (Breaking Barriers), Capability (Business Partnerships), Employability (Disability-Inclusion in the Workplace), Dependability (Essential Heroes), culminating in the inaugural DRTC Ability At Work Employer of the Year Award, which was awarded to ATC Drivetrain, a world leader in remanufacturing of transmissions.
“Employers like ATC Drivetrain have embraced an inclusive workforce and we are thankful for their continued support of DRTC and hiring people with disabilities,” said Deborah Copeland, M.Ed., DRTC Executive Director/CEO.
DRTC is planning additional special events throughout 2023 to continue the celebration with clients, their caregivers, as well as employees at its federal contracts locations.
Complete list of honorees:
Kermit Walker – Vocational Services Spotlight Honoree
Angela Waldrop – Direct Services Provider Spotlight Honoree
Oklahoma City Zoo – Community Integrated Employment Employer Champion
Oklahoma Department of Transportation – State Use Champion
JASCO – Business Partnership Champion
KFOR – Media Partnership Champion
John Hamilton – Employment Services Spotlight Honoree
Vivian Naegeli – Employment Services, Direct Services Provider Spotlight Honoree
Sodexo – Employment Services Employer Champion
Myra Denson-Hartsock – AbilityOne® Spotlight Honoree
Jason Kelleher – AbilityOne® Spotlight Honoree
ATC Drivetrain – DRTC Ability At Work Employer of the Year