Goodwill joins national effort to advance opportunities and announces special employer workshop during National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Goodwill Manasota joins the U.S. Department of Labor in celebrating October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This national campaign raises awareness about the contributions people with disabilities make in America’s workforce, and encourages companies and organizations to build business cultures that value diversity, respect and employment opportunities for all.
As the country observes NDEAM, Goodwill Manasota is proud to have reached a new milestone: almost 12 percent of its local workforce of nearly 800 is disabled. The Supported JobsPlus program is in great part responsible for these numbers – the Supported JobsPlus program provides long-term, supported employment to individuals with physical, developmental and psychiatric disabilities. The program features workplace accommodations, and access to Goodwill Good Partner Coaches, case managers who offer employment, family and personal coaching.
“Millions of Americans with disabilities make important contributions to the workplace every day. We take great pride in being able to provide employment and change lives through the power of work,” said Bob Rosinsky, president & CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “We prefer to concentrate on a person’s abilities rather than their disabilities. Given the opportunity, people with challenges often excel and flourish. We encourage area employers to expand their views and open their doors to those who simply need an opportunity to try – and succeed.”
In 2013, the unemployment rate among adults with disabilities was 13.2 percent – nearly twice as high as the unemployment rate of people without disabilities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet most employers reported no cost or very low costs when making workplace accommodations for people with disabilities.
“We have been proud to match the abilities of our team members to our jobs,” said Rosinsky. “We schedule working hours so that team members who require therapy or specialized training can make it work. Our investment in our Goodwill family results in opportunities for success for so many who have previously been overlooked.”
In recognition of NDEAM, Goodwill Manasota is hosting a free workshop for federal contractors regarding new regulations on employing veterans and individuals with disabilities. This workshop will take place on Monday, October 20, 2014 from 9 to 11am and features guest speaker Miguel Rivera, the District Director of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program. As of March 2014, new regulations were added to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and under the new rules, federal contractors and sub-contractors with more than 100 employees are required to employ a certain percentage of persons with disabilities as well as veterans.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2013, we served more than 16,000 people, placed 537 people in jobs and assisted 329 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 37 million pounds out of the landfill. For more information, visit EXPERIENCEGOODWILL.ORG.