Karen Katnich and her daughter, Sarah, enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs at the ECHO (Every Citizen Has Opportunities) picnic at Algonkian Park, Friday. Sarah works for ECHO Temp Services, where she counts, labels and packages tiles for REHAU Inc.
"The services are good and the people are wonderful," Karen Katnich said.
Despite the rain, ECHO participants, family, friends and business representatives gathered to acknowledge companies like REHAU Inc., Target Stores, Loudoun Public school administration, the National Conference Center and U.S. Geological Survey, who employ ECHO members.
MARKETING MANAGER KAREN RUSSELL presented Target Stores with the ECHO business partner of the year award, for its outstanding employment opportunities. Russell acknowledged all business representatives at the picnic.
U.S. Geological Survey contract manager Bob Kimmel works with ECHO members.
"We’ve had a contract with ECHO for about 20 years," Kimmel said. "We have a very good relationship."
ECHO members assemble packages and notebooks for the federal agency on site.
"We’ve managed to find some space for them at USGS," Kimmel said.
ECHO is a nonprofit agency, which provides training, employment and transportation services for citizens with disabilities. Former board member and parent of an ECHO participant, Zi Bolen, has been a part of the organization for seven years. "It is a wonderful place to come and work. They play a lot, too," Bolen said.