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The Village at Gainesville Receives Award for Employing Students With Intellectual Disabilities

August 10, 2022

GAINESVILLE, FL—The Village at Gainesville senior living community has been recognized as the Inclusive Employer of the Year by the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities (FCSUA). Community leadership received the award during a ceremony at the Florida Postsecondary Education Planning Program Institute on Wednesday, July 13.

The community was nominated by Linda Musillo, who is the program administrator for Project SAINT. The Village at Gainesville has worked with Project SAINT to employ student graduates within the senior living community to gain work experience. One student in particular, Sienna Smillov, has truly thrived within the program while working as a server assistant for three years.

Prior to Smillov’s work at The Village at Gainesville, her father said she couldn’t make eye contact and was very shy. Following her experience, she improved her work skills to the point where she was able to make the transition from going to school to finding a job.

“Sienna is one of the reasons The Village at Gainesville is an awesome place to live and work,” said Cheryl Huntington, dining services assisted living manager at The Village at Gainesville, who accepted the award on behalf of the community. “She is a fine example of our core values—collaborative, accountable, respectful, ethical and service-driven. She makes me very proud to accept this award on behalf of The Village at Gainesville.”

This is just one of the awards the community has received, including being voted Great Place to Work for three years in a row and Best Retirement Community by The Gainesville Sun for six years in a row. The community serves nearly 700 residents and employs nearly 300 associates.

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