Four Richfield businesses, a group home and Richfield City have been honored for their work and dedication in helping people who have handicaps or who are disabled.

Plaques in recognition of their efforts have been presented by Community Careers of Richfield, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment.Businesses cited for employing the handicapped are the Appletree Inn, Darling Day Care Center, McDonald's and the Reel Theater. Trails Inc., a group home for the handicapped, was also honored for supporting and contributing to the program.

Richfield City hired a group of handicapped people as a grounds work crew. The group has also done custodial work for other organizations. City Administrator Woody Farnsworth said he was impressed with their work.

Plaques were presented by John Robinson, Community Careers Director. They read "In appreciation for your dedication in providing employment opportunities through supported employment for people with disabilities which has resulted increased dignity, equality and independence."

It was reported at the presentation that the unemployment rate is 50 percent among the 64,000 handicapped residents in Utah. Of the 12,000 considered severely disabled, less than 2 percent ever leave shelters to enter the work force, said Rod Pearson, president of Community Career's board of directors.

"Job coaches" were praised by employers who have been involved in the program. The coaches work with the disabled employees to teach them their responsibilities so that employers don't have to take extra time in training their workers. "The job coach brings a bonding interface between the employer and the disabled employee," said Terry Christensen of the Appletree Inn.