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NYCHA Awards

2010 Quality of Work Life Winners. Photo by Pete Mikoleski
NYCHA Celebrates Its Own in Annual Employee Recognition Ceremony

In the New York City Housing Authority's 21st annual Quality of Work Life (QWL) Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony more than 550 employees were recognized for serving at NYCHA for 20, 30, 35 or 40 years. Employees were also celebrated for educational achievements, perfect time and attendance, and volunteer service at the event which was held on November 5, 2010 at the District Council 37 Headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

Augustus Davis, 40 year employee
Mr. Augustus Davis, center, has been employed with NYCHA since President Nixon was in office!
Photo credit: Pete Mikoleski

You couldn't tell by looking at him, but Mr. Augustus Davis, who is a Maintenance Worker at Roosevelt Houses, has worked for NYCHA for 42 years, since October 14, 1968. "I wanted the job so bad that I told my mom when I was 19 that, if I got it, I would stay until I retired," he said. Mr. Davis says he enjoys working at a development because, "it's a secure job, and I love getting to meet and help people. The residents appreciate what I do."

For Brian Hochberg, Assistant Chief of NYCHA's Information Technology Infrastructure Department, it is the formerly incarcerated who appreciate what he does, and that is why NYCHA recognized him for the second consecutive year with the Volunteer Service Award for the tutoring services that he provides to men and women through the Fortune Society.

Brian Hochberg, Volunteer Service Award Winner
The formerly imprisoned men and women who were returning to Brian Hochberg's community needed housing and a job, but lack of education was getting in their way. That's where he stepped in.
Photo credit: Pete Mikoleski

Since 2003, Mr. Hochberg has volunteered in the Fortune Society's Education Program, tutoring groups of eight to 12 individuals. He prepares his own lesson plans in English, Science and Social Studies, with the aim of not only preparing his students to earn a General Education Diploma (GED), but also to face the challenges of a competitive work environment, especially when having to overcome the stigma associated with being convicted of a crime.

A Coordinator of Volunteers at the Fortune Society noted, "Brian's level of dedication to the mission of the Fortune Society is incomparable," because he goes out of his way to stay in contact with students even after they have completed the program. Many of his former students have stated that his tutoring has remained an invaluable experience in their lives.

For Mr. Davis, long time NYCHA employee, the secret to his success appears to be variety: during his long tenure with the Authority, Mr. Davis reports that he has worked in several job titles, including: Heating Plant Technician, Plasterer's Helper, and Caretaker; and his personal motto, which is: "Do your work the best you can, and let nothing else bother you."

By Howard Silver
November 8, 2010