Monday, June 28, 2011: National Disability Institute hosted an Asset Development Summit in Bangor, Maine. Michael Morris, nationally recognized leader and NDI Executive Director keynoted the conference and spent the day working with participants. Also in attendance were NDI staffers Elizabeth Jennings and Jamie Robinson. The summit, coordinated by Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) brought together 50 stakeholders in the area with the goal of creating greater awareness of the options for economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.
Elizabeth Jennings leads a workgroup at the Bangor Asset Summit
Panel members included representatives from Maine’s CareerCenters - Vocational Rehabilitation, Bangor Savings Bank, Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community, Maine Medical Center’s Community Work Incentive Planning and Assistance, Penquis CAP/CA$H Coalition, as well as a consumer. Through small group participation, attendees were able to identify opportunities for community collaboration, additional partners to call to the table, and possible outreach strategies.
With this information in hand, a small work group of summit participants will meet in mid-July to discuss the following:
- Creation of a larger work group (and/or sub-groups) to brainstorm/discuss action plan next steps for collaboration, marketing and outreach
- Creation of a resource guide/fact sheet that includes information about asset programs available for low-income Mainers and people with disabilities
- Identification of champions in the Disability and Asset arenas
In itself, the Asset Summit serves as a marker for a change in expectations in how people with disabilities will participate in the economic life of our community in the Greater Bangor area. An added value, however, is the effect that this regional summit will have on other communities across the State of Maine and the nation. A professional production company, Production Link, LLC, was present to videotape the event, and will produce a video to be used for training other communities on the nationally recognized Asset Summit model. The video will also be placed on the US Department of Labor website for public viewing.