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 the 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.
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 make my dream come true,” Kubel said.
The employment helpline is dedicated to serving people with disabilities as well as military veterans, former foster youth, and trafficking survivors.
PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.