PRIDE Industries Hires Vocational Rehabilitation Expert Robert Hines
Hines to support effort to normalize workforce inclusion and place thousands with disabilities into sustainable jobs with livable wages
Roseville, Calif. (January 5, 2021) — Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) leader Robert Hines has joined PRIDE Industries as Workforce Development Director for the organization’s Inclusive Talent Solutions (ITS) business. In his role, Hines will grow and maintain partnerships to support the employment and training needs of businesses and people with disabilities, while providing leadership and strategy for the ITS line of business.
Hines was formerly Director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) for the state of Washington where he oversaw 320 employees, a $60 million annual budget, and established Washington’s DVR as a leader among state VR agencies.
“Rob joins PRIDE at the perfect time. His knowledge and passion for creating sustainable employment for people with disabilities complement our seasoned team of VR professionals,” said Jeff Dern, President and CEO at PRIDE. “At PRIDE, we aim to normalize workforce inclusion for people of all abilities. Rob’s leadership experience in workforce development and VR systems will be invaluable as we expand our ITS operations throughout the country.”
Hines joins PRIDE’s Inclusive Talent Solutions, which encompasses recruitment, training, and coaching for people with disabilities. ITS also provides inclusive workforce training so companies can create a culture where people of all abilities thrive. Hines will develop and cultivate relationships with various government and non-governmental agencies to identify and secure talent, as well as funding, in order to supply the inclusive talent pipeline.
“Joining PRIDE affords me an opportunity to help move the employment needle, on a larger scale, for people with disabilities,” said Hines. “It’s time we make a measurable impact on the employment rate for people with different abilities by engaging the business community and connecting them to the nation’s largest – and virtually untapped – talent pool.”
While with Washington state, Hines partnered with big businesses such as Amazon, Starbucks, and Boeing to secure well-paying jobs for individuals with disabilities. He also re-established a comprehensive employee training plan and oversaw projects to modernize DVR’s infrastructure and support systems. While DVR Director, he was also a member of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (CSAVR) Executive Committee and served as CSAVR’s Veterans Committee Chair.
“We are excited to add another industry expert with a proven track record of success to the Inclusive Talent Solutions Leadership Team,” said Matt Anderson, Vice President of Inclusive Talent Solutions for PRIDE. “The progressive approach Rob used to lead the State of Washington DVR program will now be shared with companies across the nation, creating more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”
Hines is a proud veteran of the United States Air Force. He spent 10 years as an enlisted member and non-commissioned officer and served his nation during the Gulf War. He currently sits on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Council on Rehabilitation.
Hines holds an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.
About PRIDE Industries: PRIDE Industries is the leading employer of people with disabilities in the country. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise, the organization provides facility operations and maintenance services, custodial services, contract manufacturing, supply chain management, and fulfillment services to public and private organizations nationwide. Founded in 1966, PRIDE’s mission is to create jobs for people with disabilities through person-centered job coaching, training, and placement. PRIDE’s mission extends across the country, assisting individuals to become self-sufficient, contribute to their communities, and achieve their goals.