People with Disabilities

Since its earliest days, Amazon has been committed to creating an inclusive workplace. With more than 500,000 employees globally, Amazon strives to foster a sense of community among employees of various backgrounds to foster engagement and innovation.

 

Like all other diversity groups, Amazon recognizes that people with disabilities add value to the workforce. The company is committed to increasing diversity by being inclusive in its recruitment efforts. Amazon employs people with disabilities across its entire business, from roles focused on the accessibility features of products to positions not related to accessibility, including engineering, design, product management, operations, and senior management roles.

Partnering with PRIDE to Build an Inclusive Workplace

Last summer, PRIDE Industries partnered with Amazon as an Alternative Workforce Supplier. PRIDE Industries is one of seven nonprofit agencies (NPA’s) chosen to recruit, assess, interview, train, and provide onsite support for people with disabilities employed by Amazon, thus helping Amazon continue to succeed as an inclusive workplace.

 

PRIDE will be placing people with disabilities at Amazon Prime Now and sortation facilities across California. Initially PRIDE provided placement services in Southern California, then quickly expanded into San Diego, the Bay Area and Sacramento.

 

By partnering with PRIDE Industries, Amazon can leverage its person-centered services. These include assessments, job skills development, training, placement, and ongoing support to ensure long-term employment success.

AWSP: A Win for Both Amazon and Employees

PRIDE has been part of the Amazon Alternative Workforce Supplier Program (AWSP) for nearly a year. The goal is to place and support people with disabilities into employment. Early results have proven positive for those with disabilities and for Amazon. According to Amazon, AWSP associates at participating Amazon sites have shown better quality and average productivity when compared to what are often seen as more traditional workforce programs. 

 

By not only accepting nontraditional talent, but actively seeking it out, the AWSP has built new job opportunities for people who have often had a hard time gaining full-time or part-time employment. An inclusive workplace benefits everyone. 

Need employment placement support?

Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.

For over 30 years, PRIDE Industries has maintained a successful business partnership with Hewlett Packard (HP). PRIDE originally started as a supplier providing sorting and recycling services for HP’s products. Now, PRIDE provides a variety of HP’s supply chain management services.

 

Currently, PRIDE provides supply chain management and fulfillment services to HP from PRIDE Industries’ Lincoln and Sacramento, CA facilities. These services include spare part fulfillment warehousing and shipping for consumer, commercial, enterprise printing. They also include the kitting and distribution of Printer Maintenance Kits.

Providing Extensive Supply Chain Management Services for HP

The HP Inc. program at PRIDE is a global, 24-hour operation made possible by PRIDE’s team of supply chain planners, buyers and business support assistants. They focus on striking the optimal balance between supply chain inventory levels and high customer level-of-fill targets. 

 

PRIDE Industries’ procurement team manages supplier relationships including purchase order management, delivery performance and escalations. 

Additionally, PRIDE’s supply chain management planning team performs forecasting and demand planning; creates material purchasing requests; manages part setup and maintenance, lifecycle planning activities, and part roll tasks; and provides overall operational project management support.

Newly Acquired Supply Chain Management Segments

Due to excellent operational performance in supply chain management and fulfillment, PRIDE has recently acquired two new HP Inc. business segments:

  • Spare Part Fulfillment program to support HP Inc. Print business acquisition.
  • PRIDE will become the sole HP Inc. North America regional distribution center for their printing and copier new spare parts needs.
    • This includes managing the spare parts program for HP Inc. Graphics Solutions printing business, spare part defective/credit return processing program via iReturns system and cross docking activities.

HP Program/Supply Chain Manager Ralph Mendez and HP Project Manager Jorge Arreygue says, “This partnership has been great for furthering PRIDE’s mission to create jobs for people with disabilities.” 

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Learn more about our supply chain management and fulfillment services.   

“This partnership has been great for furthering PRIDE’s mission to create jobs for people with disabilities.”

Things are looking up for Justin Igama; he is earning his kinesiology degree while working as an associate at Amazon, Inc to achieve his dream of becoming a physical therapist. 

 

“Navigating my mobility issues inspired this career path, along with the desire to help others. I can relate to patients since I have experienced many challenges and breakthroughs myself.”

 

Justin has cerebral palsy (CP), a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination and mobility. Individuals with cerebral palsy experience symptoms differently, including paralysis, inability to walk, and communication limitations. According to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, one in three people affected cannot walk, and one in five cannot talk.

 

“I was three years old when I was diagnosed with CP,” said Justin. “It feels like my brain doesn’t communicate well with my muscles. My disability made me insecure and doubt my abilities; however, it made me develop resilience and determination. My involvement in sports such as wrestling and boxing helped me to realize that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”

 

In 2016, while starting college, Justin attempted to find work to support himself. After several months of struggling to find a position, he was referred to PRIDE Industries’ Inclusive Talent Solutions in Sacramento, CA. With help from Job Coach John Edwards, he practiced interviewing and fine-tuned his resume.

 

“I learned that a positive first impression is key to engaging employers,” says Justin. “I made an effort to speak properly and to dress well. However, after multiple interviews, I noticed that my disability and use of a cane might have convinced many that I could not do a job involving lifting and walking. It was very frustrating.”

 

In less than a year, PRIDE placed Justin into an associate trainee position at Amazon’s Sacramento Fulfillment Center. He was responsible for sorting items to be delivered to PRIME Now customers. “There were many challenges at first, including learning a variety of new instructions and rules,” said Justin. “I had to work hard to prove myself.”

 

Applying skills that he learned from his PRIDE training, Justin reached out to his supervisor to identify areas to improve. He took the advice given and continued to receive consistent positive ratings. His Job Coach John Edwards was always there, providing Justin with encouragement and advice.

 

As Justin’s skills improved and he gained confidence, management took notice; Amazon offered him a permanent position in November 2017.

 

“It felt great to prove that I am capable of working in competitive employment with people without disabilities,” said Justin. “They treat me as an important part of the team. With this job, I have earned independence and can support myself financially while I complete my studies.”

 

“I hope that my story helps others with cerebral palsy to realize that they can achieve successful employment. There will be challenges along the way, but with hard work, perseverance, and a support team, they can accomplish their dreams.”

Need employment placement support?

Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.

Did You Know?

According to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, one in three people affected cannot walk, and one in five cannot talk

“I hope that my story helps others with cerebral palsy to realize that they can achieve successful employment.”

With drive and determination, John Almeda works to accomplish his goals; he is thriving at a job that he enjoys and is training towards his dream of competing in the Boston Marathon. John has completed half marathons, 20-mile races and most recently the 2017 California International Marathon (CIM). Despite an injury, he persevered and finished in 4 hours and 27 minutes!


These achievements have not come without challenges; John is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD) and is non-verbal. Around 30 percent of people diagnosed with ASD are considered “non-verbal” according to a study by Boston University; however, some non-verbal individuals can communicate with written or typed language. Furthermore, young adults with autism are less likely to be employed or to be enrolled in higher education than other young adults without autism.

 

Fortunately, after finishing his high school transition program in 2017, John was referred to PRIDE Industries’ Autism Employment Program. The program trains and places individuals with Autism in the Sacramento, CA region senior care services jobs at Eskaton (a nonprofit community-based senior care organization). Employees serve as companions and aides to residents of long-term care facilities and assist the nursing, dining hall and maintenance staff while receiving support from PRIDE Job Coaches. This is made possible through a collaboration between the California Conservation Corps and the PRIDE Industries Foundation.


John started his job at Eskaton in August 2017. To help him learn job tasks and overcome communication barriers, John was provided training and job support by his mother, Vanessa Bieker and a PRIDE Job Coach, Sandra Ogawa. Soon, he was working independently with little support, serving his customers with his enthusiasm and friendly smile. John is also able to independently take ridesharing services to work.


“John takes great pride in his work and has been given additional responsibilities as his skills have progressed,” says Rehabilitation Services Manager Michelle Anderson.


“With the money that he earns from his job, John is starting to support himself, including purchasing all the specialized clothing and shoes needed for running,” says Vanessa Bieker. “He enjoys his independence and the ability to socialize with his friends at work and is grateful for the opportunity.” We look forward to seeing John grow in his career and eventually reaching his Boston dream. Congratulations!


To learn more about John and his passion for running, watch this video.

“John takes great pride in his work and has been given additional responsibilities as his skills have progressed.”

Julio Hinojosa is a young adult with a borderline intellectual disability that has earned a successful career with PRIDE Industries. Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have an intellectual disability, which occurs when a person experiences limitation in cognitive functioning and problem-solving. These individuals have a harder time finding employment options and participate in the labor force at about half the rate of typically developing adults. However, given the right environment and support, people with intellectual disabilities can fulfill needed career positions and make excellent employees.

 

Julio graduated from a high school transition program that assisted students with disabilities to help find employment and learn independent life skills. As part of the program, he completed vocational training in electrical work, expressing interest in working in a technical field. With this preference, Julio was referred by the Department of Rehabilitative Services in 2011 to PRIDE Industries’ Ft. Bliss, TX facilities and maintenance contract – starting his career working as a Grounds Maintenance Laborer in the Roads & Grounds department.

 

Adjusting to a new trade was not always easy. Due to his disability, Julio struggled with problem-solving on the job and had difficulty using the correct writing to explain the work he performed on service orders. With help from his supervisor, coworkers and job coach, he learned how to write down his orders with accuracy and worked on maintaining concentration to finish assigned tasks on time.

 

“Julio is very shy,” says Rehabilitation Manager Shannon Bloxham. “He required a lot of guidance, but has learned by observation and hands-on training – improving his confidence and skills.”

 

Within this supportive environment, Julio continued to advance in his career. He was promoted to Maintenance Trades Helper in the Electrical department in 2014 and later to General Maintenance Worker in 2016. Furthering his expertise, he entered the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Apprenticeship program and is now a year shy of finishing the four-year program. With guidance and mentorship from his coworkers, Julio passed his State Journeyman Electrician’s exam in 2017 and was promoted to Electrician.

 

Working for PRIDE not only brought career success but also carried over in Julio’s personal life. He recently got married and purchased his first home. “I enjoy the hands-on-work of electrical work and perfecting my craft while working in the welcoming environment at PRIDE,” says Julio. “Julio is a very hard-working employee and has shown dedication and ambition to get to where he is today,” says Shannon Bloxham.

Need employment placement support?

Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.

“Working at PRIDE has helped me accomplish my goals and brought me professional success.”

Did You Know?

Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have an intellectual disability.

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many people with bipolar disorder struggle to retain jobs and it can be difficult for them to find work they enjoy.

 

Cecilia “Cecy” Marquez is one such individual, diagnosed with bipolar disorder as an adult.  The late diagnosis and lack of a support system contributed to an unstable employment track record, low self-esteem and an overpowering feeling of unproductiveness. In 2010, Cecy’s disability was exacerbated due to a tragic car accident that resulted in PTSD.

 

Lack of accommodations at work and immense anxiety hindered Cecy’s employment tenures. Before joining PRIDE’s Fort Bliss contract site in Texas, she hid her disability, not disclosing it to employers or co-workers. When daily stressors would become too much to cope with at her current job, she would resign.

Helping People with Bipolar to Find Jobs

PRIDE Industries offers a wide range of employment services to people with bipolar and other disabilities. Programs include job placement, internship opportunities, and on-the-job training and support. When Cecy discovered PRIDE Industries and received job assistance, she discovered an inclusive and welcoming environment where she felt at home.

 

In January 2016, PRIDE Industries hired Cecy as a Service Order Dispatcher. She learned quickly, assimilating to the team and overcoming roadblocks while providing excellent customer service. Her managers and counselor continuously provide resources to help her experience success every day on the job.  

 

“Cecy enjoys taking calls and receives them with a smile,” Corina E Huerta-Coronado, Cecy’s Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at PRIDE, says. “She believes that smiles carry through the phone lines and provides great service to the soldiers, techs and other personnel.”

Continued Success on the Job

Life is much different now for Cecy; she has rewarding employment, a wonderful support system both at home and at work, and feels proud to be contributing to the community and soldiers at Fort Bliss.

Having a job is about more than a paycheck; it improves confidence, self-esteem, creates greater self-sufficiency and aids in building a rewarding life. For Cecy, her job has contributed to a once in a lifetime experience. “Because I am employed, I had the privilege of traveling on a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land – Israel, last fall,” Cecy shared.

PRIDE Industries' coaching, training, and placement programs

Everyone deserves the opportunity to find a job they love and contribute to their community. PRIDE Industries works to help people with bipolar and other disabilities overcome barriers to employment so they can pursue their career goals and live a fulfilling life.

“I love my job and that includes being a part of the Fort Bliss community,” says Cecy. “When I enter onto the base, I feel a sense of pride.”