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“Working with individuals who accept and help me with my mental condition has made me feel more empowered than ever before”
– Ricardo Hurtado

Thanks to CW Resources, I am not only a satisfied full-time employee, I am also no longer ashamed of my disability. More than 20 years ago, I remember reading my hospital discharge papers and seeing the words “manic depression psychosis” and “hypomania” next to my name. Seeing those words made me feel even more depressed due to the fear of being stigmatized and ostracized by friends and, more importantly, employers.

Working with individuals who accept and help me with my mental condition has made me feel more empowered than ever before. Before working with CW, I worked as an electrician for 15 years. That may sound glamorous compared to my current position as a dishwasher for CW at the Fort Drum dining facility, but this is the best job I have ever had. I never imagined that one day I would be working inside the most deployed military base in the country alongside hundreds of active soldiers. Although I never served in the military, I feel as if I am part of something bigger than myself.

CW and the military have done something that no electrical union or contractor has ever done for me in the past, which is to accept me and allow me to contribute to the workforce without having to repress or hide my mental condition, which only worsens the illness, as I can attest through my own experience.

During the short time I have worked for CW, I have noticed their constant efforts to improve the experience of the workers, most of whom have mental and/or physical disabilities. Thanks to the careful training and education that CW provides, I have learned not only to accept my condition but also to help others with disabilities to participate as equals in the workforce by providing service for enormous and important departments such as the United States military.

Thank you, Ms. Carla, for teaching me to practice compassion with others and myself. I would also like to thank all my CW supervisors for being great mentors and teaching me and others not to allow challenges or sometimes harsh conditions to impede our career progress and personal growth.

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