The fully accessible event was hosted by PRIDE Industries in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Roseville, Calif – PRIDE Industries, the leading employer of people with disabilities, hosted its first annual I AM ABLE Disability Job Fair on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.The event, held during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, garnered significant interest, with over 600 candidates with disabilities in attendance.
“PRIDE Industries’ first I AM ABLE Disability Job Fair was a resounding success, reinforcing the importance of equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” said Jeff Dern, President and CEO at PRIDE Industries. “The event highlighted the commitment of employers in the Sacramento Region to create a more inclusive workforce. It served as a platform for candidates to showcase their skills and for employers to recognize the immense talent within the disability community.”
More than 20 companies participated in the job fair, including Raley’s, UC Davis Health, Amazon, Shriner’s Hospital, Tri Counties Bank, Sacramento Regional Transit, Sacramento Superior Court, Golden1 Credit Union, Audacy, California State University, Sacramento, Thunder Valley Casino and Resort, California Department of Transportation, and First Northern Bank. “These organizations demonstrated their commitment to diversity and inclusion by actively recruiting job seekers with disabilities,” said Dern.
Businesses at the event were able to interview dozens of qualified job seekers. “The quality of the candidates we met is tremendous,” said Daniel Chapnick, Talent Programs Specialist for Raley’s. “It’s clear they’re highly motivated and enthusiastic—just what we’re looking for.”
In addition to businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies that support the disability community were on hand to offer important employment resources.
“This event gave us a wonderful opportunity to meet with and actively assist dozens of people with disabilities,” said Spencer Hoke, Regional Business Specialist at the California Department of Rehabilitation.
The I AM ABLE Job Fair is the only disability job fair in the region, and it’s unique for another reason as well: It was created by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. The event was designed and vetted by an “Accessibility Team” whose members are deaf, blind, autistic, or use wheelchairs. Accessibility for all was a top priority, and in order to accommodate the diverse needs of participants, the event offered on-site American Sign Language (ASL) translators, Braille signage, Spanish interpreters, a quiet interview space, light rail transportation, and service animal water and relief areas.
During the job fair, PRIDE Industries offered resume critiques and interview assistance to job candidates. Prior to the job fair, online training on how to maximize their job fair experience was provided. And, training webinars were conducted for employers, in order to educate them on effective engagement with candidates with disabilities.
Plans are already underway for next year’s I AM ABLE Disability Job Fair.
“We were expecting 200 job seekers, and more than 600 joined us today,” said Dern. “The extraordinary turnout we had today makes it clear just how important it is to make more job fairs like this one available.”
About PRIDE Industries
PRIDE Industries delivers business excellence with a positive social impact. A social enterprise, we provide facilities operations and maintenance services, custodial services, contract manufacturing, supply chain management, packaging and fulfillment services, and placement services to private and public organizations nationwide. Founded in 1966, PRIDE Industries’ mission is to create employment for people with disabilities. Through personalized employment services, we help individuals realize their true potential and lead more independent lives. PRIDE Industries proves the value of its inclusive workforce model through operational success across multiple industries every day.
PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.