Goodwill encourages employers to provide opportunities for people with disabilities during National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Sarasota, Fla — As America continues to pull itself out of the recession, the unemployment rate among adults with disabilities remains at 14.1 percent — nearly twice as high as the unemployment rate of people without disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. During October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Goodwill Manasota encourages employers in both the private and public sectors to strengthen their workforces by hiring qualified people with disabilities.
Employing Americans with disabilities is not about charity. Most employers report no cost or very low costs when making workplace accommodations for people with disabilities. According to the Job Accommodation Network, 58 percent of employers said accommodations needed by employees and job applicants with disabilities cost absolutely nothing. Additionally, those employers who make accommodations for employees with disabilities report multiple benefits including employee retention, increased worker productivity, ultimately cost savings due to reduced turnover.
“More than 150 people with disabilities work at Goodwill Manasota. These people make extraordinary contributions to our workplace every day,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota.
Annie is just one of the many disabled people Goodwill employs whose contribution has been felt throughout the organization. At the Goodwill location on Honore Ave. where she has worked for over a year, Annie is responsible for sorting and hanging clothes. It is the first paid job she’s ever had and one she excels at despite being blind. Her positive attitude and dedication to her work have made her a model employee, and later this month she will be honored as Goodwill’s 2013 Employee of the Year at the Goodwill Ambassador Awards Dinner on Oct. 24.
“I love a challenge because it shows me what I’m made of,” said Annie. “I am grateful to Goodwill and to the Division of Blind Services for giving me this opportunity.”
For more than 110 years, Goodwill has helped people navigate the challenges they face when seeking employment, including disabilities, lack of education or work experience, and other factors that make it difficult for someone to gain employment and build a career. Goodwill staff members work with people to develop their employment skills, including résumé writing, job interview practice, job search help, and more. People with disabilities can receive a number of services through Goodwill, including access to assistive technology, soft skills training, health care, occupational therapy, transportation, and other accommodations that may be needed to perform their jobs. In addition, Goodwill trains people to work in a variety of high-growth industries outside of Goodwill, such as computer programming, construction, financial services, health care, and many others.
Held each October, the U.S. Department of Labor commemorates National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. Goodwill stands with the U.S. Department of Labor and encourages companies and organizations to build more inclusive business cultures that value diversity and encourage leaders to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified individuals with disabilities, which in the end will benefit everyone.
About Goodwill Manasota:
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. For more than 110 years, Goodwill has provided opportunities through such programs as Donated Goods Employment Services, Job Connection, JobsPlus, Supported JobsPlus, HomeBuyer’s Club, Mission Development Services, White Glove Services, Good Neighbor Program and Ambassadors Program. Goodwill continues to assist people with disabilities and barriers to opportunity by changing lives through the power of work. Goodwill Manasota, Inc. is legally organized under the laws of the United States and the State of Florida. We are accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is NOT owned by any individual. Tax-deductible donations can be made at EXPERIENCEGOODWILL.ORG.
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