This year, the focus is on advancing access and equity.
ROSEVILLE, Calif. – PRIDE Industries, the nation’s leading employer of people with disabilities, is once again proud to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Established by Congress in 1988 and observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees. This year, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has chosen “Advancing Access and Equity” as the theme for NDEAM.
“PRIDE Industries is honored to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and to celebrate the contributions of our employees with disabilities,” said Jeff Dern, President and CEO of PRIDE Industries. “NDEAM’s theme this year, ‘Advancing Access and Equity’, is a vital one, as workers with disabilities are often left out of conversations about workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
More than 10 percent of working-age Americans have a disability. Historically, the workforce participation rate for working-age adults with disabilities has been around 30 percent, while the rate for persons without a disability in the same age group is about 75 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Since 1966, PRIDE Industries has worked to bridge this gap by hiring people with disabilities to provide award-winning facilities management, supply chain management, manufacturing, packaging and fulfillment services, and employment services. Through its various employment programs, PRIDE Industries is helping to break down barriers and create opportunities that enable people with disabilities to succeed in the workforce.
The one-of-a-kind, bilingual (English/Spanish) I AM ABLE Employment Helpline is one of these programs. This unique helpline, which was launched in 2021, has already assisted over 3,800 individuals in California in their journey toward employment.
PRIDE Industries’ Youth Employment Services (YES!) program is another one of the social enterprise’s many innovative services. The program supports youth aged 16-24 who have disabilities. It also provides services to young people who have spent time in the child welfare, juvenile justice, or criminal legal systems, as well as those who are unhoused, live in concentrated poverty, or face other barriers to employment in Sacramento and Placer counties, enabling them to gain the skills they need to succeed in their chosen careers and to live independently. Thanks to the YES! Program, since July 2022:
- 95 youth have received comprehensive support consisting of intensive case management, work readiness, education, and on-the-job training to help them build skills and secure employment.
- 8 youth have participated in paid internships or subsidized direct employment.
- 20 youth have benefitted from unsubsidized direct job placements.
- 28 youth have received retention support in a career path of their choosing.
Now, as part of its NDEAM 2023 activities, PRIDE Industries is introducing a new employment service for people with disabilities in the Sacramento region—the first-ever I AM ABLE Disability Job Fair. Created for people with disabilities by people with disabilities, this fully accessible event will feature two dozen employers, as well as advisors from other nonprofits and government agencies that support the disability community.
“We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to work and contribute to their fullest potential,” said Dern. “We support over 3,500 people with disabilities in their employment journey throughout the country. Every day, our operational success across multiple lines of business proves that people with disabilities provide tremendous value to all types of organizations. We show company leaders that if we can do it, so can they.”
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.