Companies of all kinds are in the midst of a persistent labor shortage, and the  need for a talent pipeline is acute for many employers. The U.S. Chamber puts it this way: “We hear every day from our member companies—of every size and industry, across nearly every state—they’re facing unprecedented challenges trying to find enough workers to fill open jobs.” To solve this problem, employers are seeking innovative staffing solutions, but there’s one that may not be on employers’ radar: Work groups comprised of employees with disabilities.

What Are Work Groups?

Hundreds of companies have partnered PRIDE Industries for work groups for a reliable talent pipeline. In a nutshell, work groups are comprised of three employees with disabilities who are placed at a business, in accordance with the workplace’s staffing needs. Each group is supported onsite by a trained, dedicated employment coach.

PRIDE Industries serves as the employer of record, taking on the recruiting, hiring, training, payroll, supervision, and quality control work—eliminating management overhead for the partner business. What’s more, the program can be tailored for specific roles, offering flexible, scalable solutions while the pre-employment preparation process and on-the-job support ensure a workforce that’s both skilled and safe.

“They are the most can-do group I've ever been around, and they elevate the attitudes of everyone around them. They're happy to be here, and if I could have a hundred of them, I would.”

Business Benefits of Work Groups as a Talent Pipeline

As the nation’s leading employer of people with disabilities, PRIDE Industries has been successfully utilizing the work group model as a talent pipeline for nearly two decades. It’s a staffing solution that’s proven effective across industries, offering numerous business benefits.

  • Pre-screened, qualified applicants.
  • Tailored and scalable to a variety of shifts, schedules, and seasons.
  • Supervision by a trained employment coach.
  • Guaranteed consistent staffing levels.
  • Payroll, Workers’ Comp, and liability insurance are covered.
  • Option to convert work group employees to direct hires if desired, and the hired employees are still eligible for job coaching.

Benefits of Employing People with Disabilities

In addition to the business benefits of the work group employment model, businesses that actively include people with disabilities enjoy additional proven outcomes.

  • The retention rate for employees with disabilities is higher and absenteeism is lower—a huge plus in today’s high-turnover climate.
  • The presence of employees with disabilities boosts overall company morale. When employees see their workplace embracing inclusivity, the sense of belonging for all employees is enhanced.
  • Businesses that employ people with disabilities have growing appeal to today’s customer. A 2018 study by analyst firm Accenture found that 62 percent of consumers globally prefer to buy goods and services from companies that “stand for something bigger.”
  • Companies that employ people with disabilities enjoy a better bottom line, according to Accenture—with 1.6 times more revenue, 2.6 times more net income, and 2 times more economic profit than peer organizations.

What Types of Businesses Can Benefit from Work Groups?

The short answer is “most.”

From manufacturing to facilities management; food services to retail; landscaping to packaging; work groups do it all and do it well.


According to Food Logistics Magazine, “quiet quitting”—employees unwilling to go above and beyond the scope of their regular responsibilities—has plagued the packaging industry.

At Knee Deep Brewing, where a PRIDE Industries work group helps package the brewery’s artisan beers for shipment, the opposite rings true.

“I’ve been extremely pleased with our PRIDE Industries team members,” said Jerry Moore, Owner and CEO of Knee Deep. The company was so impressed with the work ethic and positivity of its PRIDE Industries work groups that, for two years in a row, it created a season beer dedicated to them.

“The partnership with Knee Deep has been a perfect fit for our employees,” said PRIDE Industries Workforce Inclusion Manager Melissa Sweet. “They are always excited to get to work every day, as shown by a stellar attendance record!”


Some 80 percent of hotels are experiencing staffing shortages, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA)—all the more troubling with room demand reach record highs.

Meanwhile, at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, “elite” laundry work groups have managed 10,000 pounds of laundry per day since 2019. The teams’ work has proven so impressive that Laundry Manager Khawar Qureshi has called on other teams to “step up and learn” from them. “They are very productive,” said Qureshi. “And they do quality work.”

Director of Hotel Operations, Brant Kelly, concurs. “It’s a great workforce,” he said, adding that working with them has been “nothing but a pleasure.”


Turnover on manufacturing floors is typically around 40 percent. At San Diego golf manufacturer Acushnet, parent of Titleist and FootJoy brands, that’s not the case. Employees with disabilities build packages for thousands of products, day in and day out.

“They are the most can-do group I’ve ever been around,” said Director of Manufacturing Doug Jacot.  “And they elevate the attitudes of everyone around them. They’re happy to be here, and if I could have a hundred of them, I would.”


Whether it’s dealing with a messy corporate lobby, overflowing trash in a break room, or dirty hallway floors, it’s no secret that the custodial industry is struggling with staffing shortages and retention. Not so at the U.S. Forest Service’s Regional Headquarters on Mare Island, where a work group keeps the organization’s facilities clean and tidy.

“The Forest Service throws parties for our employees out there,” said Workforce Inclusion Employment Coach Assistant Manager Sean Sharpe. “Because they keep the place immaculate.”

Immaculate, indeed. This past December, a customer inspection of the facility rated the team’s work at a nearly perfect 99 percent. “The employees really know what they’re doing,” said Sharpe. “They could train me on the job.”

An Available Talent Pipeline

Ongoing labor shortages—there are more than 8 million unfilled front-line jobs—has experts like business consulting firm Gartner and employers like Google, IBM, and Salesforce urging companies to expand their talent search to include people with disabilities. “For years, organizations have talked about the strategic value of expanding and diversifying their talent pipelines,” said Gartner analyst Emily Rose McRae. “Organizations can no longer meet their talent needs solely through traditional sourcing methods and candidate pools.”

Over 10 percent of working-age Americans have a disability. Many who are currently unemployed are both skilled and eager to work. Through work group employment, they have the opportunity to let their abilities shine, giving smart employers that diverse talent pipeline that they need.

Let Us Help Solve Your Labor Shortages

The US Chamber of Commerce recommends that businesses turn to experienced partners to tap the many benefits—including tax incentives—of employing people with disabilities. PRIDE Industries has helped hundreds of companies do just that, helping recruit, hire, train, and support this growing and reliable talent pool—free of charge to employers.
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