Today, valued customers and community leaders joined us for the opening and dedication of a new PRIDE Industries Training Facility at Ft. Bliss, Texas. The training center is designed to offer hands-on, advanced training in various facilities maintenance trades to PRIDE’s employees working at Ft. Bliss under a Directorate of Public Works (DPW) contract through the AbilityOne program.
AbilityOne (formerly Javits-Wagner-O’Day, or JWOD), is a federal program designed to create employment opportunities for people with severe disabilities. PRIDE employs more than 140 individuals on the contract, which creates jobs for people with, and without, disabilities.
The new training center is an open architecture building-within-a-building on the base. It will provide concentrated skills training in light carpentry, carpentry, electrical, plumbing skills and more. Training is available to all new and existing PRIDE employees, providing opportunities for growth and career advancement. In a true show of camaraderie and team spirit, the center was created by an all-volunteer team of PRIDE employees who were formally recognized for their contributions in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The facility was dedicated in honor of Steve Cener – a former PRIDE employee with a disability who worked at Ft. Bliss in 2007-2008. A devoted employee, Steve passed away in 2008, but not without leaving a significant impression on his supervisors, peers and PRIDE’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ziegler, to whom he wrote these words…”I wanted to thank you all for the chance to live again…lately I have had no life, no job and no friends. So thank you for giving me the reason to live and hold my head up with pride.”
Job training prepares people for employment, helps to ensure quality service to our valued customers – partners in our social mission – and advancement potential for all PRIDE employees. PRIDE’s dedicated employees could have created no greater legacy to Steve, than a brighter future for other employees with disabilities.