Roseville, October 17, 2017 – I have been wanting to do an economic piece about people with disabilities for some time now and with the month of October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I couldn’t think of a more fitting opportunity to bring to light an incredible story about a local entity I discovered here in my hometown of Grass Valley.
A recent conversation with a friend led me to PRIDE Industries, a multi-state, non-profit social enterprise that helps people with disabilities find employment.
Originally founded in 1966 by a group of parents in Auburn, its initial focus was to find meaningful employment for their adult children with disabilities.
PRIDE has offices in 14 states and in Washington DC and is still growing. With one in every five Americans having a disability, the need for such an entity is more than obvious.
“People with disabilities want to contribute, yet finding gainful employment can be challenging. PRIDE Industries opens a whole new world of possibilities for people with disabilities while serving the needs of businesses and the community in the process.”
Helping people find jobs
PRIDE’s main goal is employment, its mission is “To create jobs for people with disabilities.” It accomplishes this in a win-win scenario synergistically with the community, government and the many companies they serve.
The PRIDE formula is a simple one: hire people with disabilities and give them jobs that complement their skill sets. From simple assembly to more complex employment, PRIDE matches the specific job to the employee.
Since the requirements of business can be complex and varied, a workforce of people with different skillsets fits nicely into whatever job may be required.
On the day of my visit to our local PRIDE location, I witnessed workers doing different jobs of all levels of complexity including the simplest of assembly and packaging to the more complicated job of accurately shipping product to multiple locations for a national retailer.
The many supervisors present maintained a safe environment for the employees while ensuring the highest level of quality control.
From shipping umbrellas manufactured by a well-known national retailer to assembling medical test kits for a local company with products from Finland, the scope of customers and products was impressive.
The organization is truly an example of everybody wins. People with disabilities have an opportunity to learn new skills and hold employment they might otherwise not be able to.
By earning their own paychecks, the assistance from public programs is minimized, their self-esteem is boosted and they get much needed mental stimulation.
Their families and loved ones have time for themselves while their family members with disabilities are supervised by a loving and experienced staff at PRIDE.
The businesses they serve benefit by finding employees who are more than happy to perform jobs that others might find mundane all while maintaining the highest of quality due to the amount of supervision that PRIDE provides along each step of the process.
PRIDE’s outreach program places higher functioning adults in off-site employment and guides both the employee and employer through every step of the process. Job development, coaching, training, and placement are an ongoing function of the organization.
The Supported Employment Program provides additional training to help overcome barriers to employment in the community at large.
Going the extra mile
Although PRIDE focuses on employment, many offices go a step further.
Some offer adult day services where people with more severe disabilities can have a safe yet entertaining place to go. Arts, crafts, games and daily outside excursions maintain a semblance of normalcy for those that otherwise may not experience such things due to their disability.
Outreach programs for self-sufficiency, improvement, and education include the Independent Living Services programs which maintain an army of staff to navigate the community and make connections in a variety of capabilities and functions.
Their goal is to enable an independent lifestyle for those that can, yet still have a resource to fall back on should the need arise.
With 51 years of experience under its belt in merging people with disabilities to the employment of all kinds, PRIDE enables adults with disabilities to reach their full potential while providing the resources for businesses to bring their products and services to the marketplace.
This is truly a win-win scenario for all parties involved with PRIDE Industries performing an invaluable service to the community.
The local Nevada County Pride office is located at 12451 Loma Rica Drive in Grass Valley, and they can be reached by calling 530-477-1832.
PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.