Proclaiming October 2009 as National Disability Awareness Month, President Barack Obama recently called on all Americans to celebrate the contributions of individuals with disabilities to our workplaces and communities, and to promote the employment of individuals with disabilities to create a better, more inclusive America.
This is a great time to highlight PRIDE’s programs and partnerships that create jobs for people with disabilities. PRIDE’s Supported Employment and Employment Services programs provide the tools, training and coaching necessary for individuals with disabilities to succeed in the workplace. With time-tested vocational expertise developed over more than 40 years, PRIDE carefully assesses each individual’s strengths and interests, provides continuous training before, during and after employment, and then carefully matches each person’s abilities with employer needs in either individual or work group placements.
Through Supported Employment, group placements of four to eight individuals provide a supportive peer-sharing environment at businesses in the community. Over a two year period, the program has grown significantly from seven groups to 42 at businesses in the community, and from 16 to 145 individuals with disabilities employed – thanks to the partnership and support of leading businesses.
PRIDE’s Employment Services program received very special recognition this year, when the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services presented PRIDE with its Business of the Year award. The award recognizes PRIDE’s innovative approach to job development, and dedication in collaborating with the department to support individuals with disabilities in job placement, career development and retention at Fort Bliss and throughout El Paso.
As one of the largest nonprofit employers of people with disabilities nationwide, PRIDE Industries celebrates the many successes of all its employees with disabilities this month – as well as the efforts of dedicated staff members, community partners and business leaders who make employment a reality for people with disabilities.