In the News

“For 55 years, PRIDE Industries has provided business excellence with a social impact,” says Jeff Dern, President & Chief Executive Officer, of this pioneering social enterprise. “We provide competitive business services while pursuing our mission to create employment for people with disabilities.”


At the heart of PRIDE Industries’ 6,000 team members are 3,100 with disclosed disabilities. With National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October, the company is launching a helpline and an awareness campaign to pursue their goal of creating 100,000 jobs for people with disabilities.


“Annually in October, the Department of Labor promotes NDEAM to educate the public about disability employment issues and to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities. At PRIDE Industries, we take that concept even further,” says Leah Burdick, Chief Growth Officer. “Through print and online media, we strive to recognize our business partners for hiring people with disabilities or supporting an inclusive workforce.”

“NDEAM is important to us because one of our goals is to normalize workplace inclusion.”
– Jeff Dern, PRIDE Industries President & Chief Executive Officer

PRIDE Industries has launched the most comprehensive helpline of its kind. By dialing 844-I-AM-ABLE, people with disabilities can connect to helpful resources, job training, and employment opportunities. This helpline will be heavily promoted in California during NDEAM, with plans to expand nationally.


PRIDE Industries has created employment for thousands of people in jobs throughout this region over decades and encourages all employers to inspire other companies to include people with disabilities in their workplaces. “NDEAM is important to us because one of our goals is to normalize workplace inclusion,” explains Dern. “We do that all year, but this month is devoted to educate employers on why they should include people with disabilities when hiring.”


PRIDE Industries will continue its constant efforts to promote the employment and inclusion of people with disabilities, proving every day that their model for business excellence has a place for all abilities.

This article was originally published in Comstock’s Magazine in October 2021.

Need employment placement support?

Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.
Media Contact
Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.

Eytan Wallace of FOX 40 News in Sacramento presented a report on Granite Data Solutions in McClellan Park, which deals with IT lifecycle hardware management. Business owner Brigg Goodwin, who became disabled while in the U.S. Army, makes it a priority to hire fellow veterans.


The business also has a food packaging operation that hires many workers with developmental disabilities through their partnership with PRIDE Industries. Manager Rhea Lloyd describes the workers as “some of the most professional, dedicated, loyal crews” that she has ever met.

Roseville-based PRIDE Industries partners with Granite Data Solutions and many other companies to help people with disabilities find jobs.


“Everybody wins with an inclusive workforce like the one at Granite Data Solutions: veterans, people with disabilities, people of all abilities working together,” said Kat Maudru, the public relations manager at PRIDE Industries. “The benefits are 10 fold, 100 fold.”


Each time workers look up, they see flags representing the various branches of the U.S. military. Of course, the American flag is raised even higher. Goodwin said he hopes it brings each of his employees a sense of honor.


“I do have a special spot for all veterans. I always will,” he said.


If you know anyone who could be a good fit for this line of work, you’re asked to call PRIDE Industries’ I-AM-ABLE help line for veterans and disabled veterans at 1-844-426-2253.

Media Contact
Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.

Long-standing social enterprise builds on legacy of inclusion

PRIDE Industries was featured in an article in Comstock’s Magazine that features interviews with Jeff Dern, PRIDE Industries’ President/CEO, and Leah Burdick, Chief Growth Officer at PRIDE Industries, detailing the social enterprise’s history and goals.

The article also features Triathlon Hall of Famer Sally Edwards, whose company’s snowshoes were manufactured by PRIDE Industries. Her new company, Heart Zones, is now partnered with PRIDE Industries for local manufacturing sensors for her equipment.

Also featured is U.S. Navy veteran Taggart Neal, who partners with PRIDE Industries for production of HeroCarts, which give nurses upgraded medical carts.


Need employment placement support?

Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.
Media Contact
Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.

CBS8 News reporter Danamarie McNicholl-Carter interviewed Brandon Schimka, an employee at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, who found his job at the restaurant with help from PRIDE Industries. The zoo has hired many employees through PRIDE Industries in retail, maintenance, and reservations.

CBS8 News also interviewed Demetrius Griggs, who works as a host at Sea World San Diego’s Calypso Bay Restaurant. He enjoys greeting customers and keeping the outside area clean for visitors. SeaWorld San Diego has partnered with PRIDE Industries for over 30 years to hire people with disabilities, like Demetrius, throughout their park.

Media Contact
Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It’s a time to celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities in the workplace and to shine a light on barriers they face.


PRIDE Industries, the nation’s leading employer for people with disabilities, works to connect people with disabilities to jobs and services they need. Sherryl Kubel told KCRA 3 that being run over by a car 4 years ago forced her to have to re-learn how to do what some consider basic tasks.


“It’s like living your life in slow motion. Every task becomes extremely important,” Kubel, who is a PRIDE Industries proposal development assistant, said.


Benjamin Dunn has worked at PRIDE Industries as a material handler for 8 years. He was happy to explain what it means to have a job.


“To feel that you have a purpose, you have satisfaction in the work that you do and knowing that when you do the job, you get it done right,” Dunn said.


Dunn and Kubel are just two of the hundreds of people living with disabilities that are being helped by PRIDE.


Chief Growth Officer Leah Burdick said people with disabilities are just as productive as the general workforce.


“If you haven’t been given the ability to shine and all of a sudden you have that chance to shine and show your talents people rise to that occasion, you will find that people rise to that occasion. We have great retention; they are very loyal,” Burdick said.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has some type of disability.


Barriers often prevent people living with disabilities from getting jobs, but PRIDE Industries is changing that.


“We provide manufacturing, logistic supply chain, packaging and fulfillment, the gamut of facilities management. Every day we maintain 13,000 buildings across the country,” Burdick said.


Casandra Hatfield designed the pilot for the recently launched first-of-its-kind I-AM-ABLE employee helpline.


“The different resources that people provide within the community are things like employment preparation, training, job placement, interview skills, resume building and job coaching,” Hatfield said.


Although she didn’t use the helpline to get a job, Kubel explained that regaining independence has changed her life.


“This has helped me made my dream come true,” Kubel said.


The California-focused helpline is dedicated to serving people with disabilities as well as military veterans, former foster youth and trafficking survivors.


Call 844-I-AM-ABLE or (844) 426-2253 to learn about resources available.

This article was featured on KRCA3 on October 6, 2021 by reporter/anchor Brandi Cummings:  

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Media Contact
Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.

Companies are Overlooking Reliable Workers

It’s generally accepted that the U.S. is in the midst of a severe labor shortage. And that assertion is borne out by the data—according to the Labor Department, there were more than 10 million unfilled jobs in June. Is there an immediate solution to address our nation’s employment gap? Would shifting old workforce paradigms and broadening accepted views of talent create access for millions of unemployed workers who want to contribute to your workplace? Many companies have discovered a new paradigm and an often-overlooked demographic filled with diverse talent.

Who are these enthusiastic, reliable employees? Individuals with disabilities.

People with disabilities have the ability and desire to work. Every company’s diversity and inclusion talent strategy should include people with disabilities—labor shortage or not. Employees need training and support to be successful. When workforce investments are oriented in an inclusive manner, an individual with a disability can achieve anything. They have the very qualities and skills we often seek as employers — adaptability, perseverance, commitment, desire — because of their lived experiences. Without the opportunity to participate, these valuable traits go unnoticed.


There are companies across the country, from Amazon to Walgreens, that have built a competitive advantage through their talent recruitment practices. Their inclusive workforce models offer a seat at the table for individuals with disabilities, and their business results prove the model works. By providing training geared to disability inclusion, together with cost-effective adaptations to business processes, all companies can access the millions of talented workers proven to have higher-than-average retention rates and lower absenteeism.


But what about the cost of accommodation? A Job Accommodation Network (JAN) survey found that of 600 businesses surveyed, 56% reported that accommodating employees with disabilities added no costs, while the rest reported an average of $500 to accommodate an employee with disabilities.

So, what did companies get in exchange for $500?

A lot, according to global consulting firm Accenture’s “Getting to Equal 2020: Disability Inclusion” study. It reports that companies led by executives focused on disability engagement are growing sales (2.9x) and profits (4.1x) faster than their peers. And engagement levels of employees with disabilities are 1.5x higher in companies with the most inclusive cultures.


As head of the nation’s leading employer of people with disabilities, PRIDE Industries, the results of the Accenture study are unsurprising. People with disabilities are key to our success and are found in essential roles throughout our company. Our facilities professionals maintain 13,000 buildings at corporate campuses and military bases, such as Fort Bliss and Los Angeles Air Force Base. Our custodians serving businesses like VSP Global post dramatically higher retention rates than the national average. Our manufacturing floors teem with decades-long tenured employees working with longtime customers like HP Inc., and people with disabilities bring innovation and unique perspectives to our vocational development and corporate services roles. Every day, we prove the value of an inclusive workforce across multiple industries.


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is celebrated annually to raise awareness of the many workplace contributions made by individuals with disabilities. NDEAM was established by Congress in 1988 when there were far fewer people with disabilities in the workplace. Since that time, there’s a greater awareness about the talents of people with disabilities and how to support them for success. Today, thousands of people with diverse abilities enrich the workplace and lead independent lives.


This October and throughout the year, I challenge all business leaders to normalize workplace inclusion and provide equal employment access for all. It makes business sense, and it is good for the community.

About Jeff Dern

Jeff Dern is the President and CEO of PRIDE Industries, a nonprofit social enterprise offering employment training, placement, and support services for people with disabilities, military veterans, former foster youth, and trafficking survivors. The organization also provides manufacturing, logistics, hospital housekeeping, custodial, and other business services to companies, and recently began offering staffing and consulting services to share its employment model with businesses striving to build more inclusive workforces.

This article is featured in the Sacramento Business Journal titled Another Voice: Companies are overlooking a group of reliable workers.

Media Contact
Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.