ARC, Colgate to recognize outstanding employee

Abbey Woodcock 03/30/09More articles
Jim Gargiulo straightens a pantry at Colgate University.
“My goal is to get everything done on time,” Jim Gargiulo said as he darted around the kitchen area of the Colgate University Dining Hall dining hall where he works checking on food supplies and making sure everything is in order.
It’s about 9:30 a.m. and Gargiulo is already moving around the kitchen at a rapid pace, making sure everything is where it needs to be for the day’s tasks.

For Gargiulo, the rest of the day will be spent putting food shipments where they need to go.

Gargiulo is part of a team, and has worked at the dining hall since 2007 as a dishwasher and utility worker.

Part of Gargiulo’s job is to prep the industrial sized kitchen sinks for large pot and pan jobs. He also helps out with receiving food shipments that occur 2 to 3 times per day. On a daily basis the dining hall, known as the “Coop” in the O’Connor Building on campus, typically serves 800 to 900 people.

“That’s a typical day,” Gargiulo said with a grin.
Darren Pollack, the retail dining manager and one of Gargiulo’s Supervisors said, “Jim does a really good job at maintaining our standards.” While Pollack likes to commend all his employees, he adds that Jim truly is an exemplary employee.

“I think it would be good for Jim to be recognized as an example of how well the program can work,” Pollack added. The program Pollack is talking about is Alternatives Vocational Services, also known as AVS.

AVS is a program offered at Madison Cortland ARC to help people find a job. AVS matches prospective employees with employers. This is accomplished by providing job development, job coaching and follow-along services. This allows the employee the opportunity for increased wages and greater independence. The program allows the employer a chance to foster integration of people with disabilities into the workforce.

This is being accomplished at Colgate University.
“Management, supervisors and co-workers alike respect Jim and the work he does. He responds very well to recognition and is regularly recognized here,” Pollack said, “He handles problems on the spot with no problem. He always rises to a challenge. He’s an example, and has a great work ethic. Jim is absolutely an integral part of the team.”
Gargiulo says he likes working with the public, and working on special projects with the dining hall like campus-wide parties and the holiday brunch.

After growing up in Amsterdam, NY and spending most of his life there, he moved to Madison County six years ago, and is active in the community. In his spare time, he helps out with a local high school football team by organizing their equipment and, “getting them squared away” on the sidelines.
Gargiulo’s job coach Scott LeMee, of Alternatives Vocational Services at Madison Cortland ARC, has been working with Gargiulo since last spring said, “The Colgate dining hall has top-notch management and they have done an excellent job partnering with AVS to help Jim reach his goals.”

For more information on AVS and other programs at Madison Cortland ARC, call 363-3315 or go to

Jolene Cleaver is the Community Development Coordinator at the Madison Cortland ARC.

CATEGORY: Jobs & Careers
EDITION: Madison Eagle

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