As I have mentioned before, I get excited when I see a local business getting national recognition. This time around, the recognition comes in the form of being honored with the Secretary of Labor’s New Freedom Initiative Award. You can click here for all of the details on the New Freedom Initiative, and here for the details on the award itself.
The short version is that the Initiative was instituted "to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in all
areas of society by increasing access to assistive and universally
designed technologies, expanding educational and employment
opportunities, and promoting increased access into daily community life." (from the White House’s press release on it) The Award was designed to recognize businesses that make innovative use of public-private partnerships to further the goals of the Initiative.
This year, Positive Vibe Cafe on Huguenot Road was recognized with the New Freedom Initiative Award. Their mission is to train and employ people with disabilities in the food service industry, and they have done it with a style that has gained national recognition — not only in the form of this award, but in all manners of press. The RTD reports that in the two years since opening, they have trained and/or employed more than 150 poeple with cognitive or physical disabilities.
Just by working on this mission, Positive Vibe Cafe has done a great service to the community. Compounding that with the national press in recognition of their success exposes more people to their ideas, and may spawn similar operations in other parts of the country.
Congratulations, Garth and Max Larcen, and everyone at Positive Vibe Cafe on this prestigious award!
(Oh, and did I mention that the food is really good there?! If having some of the top chefs in Richmond working on the menu isn’t good enough for you, then just stop by on one of the days when one of those chefs has stopped in to pull kitchen duty.)