Creating a Good First Impression; Eliminating Obstacles

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Throughout the month, we focus on raising awareness of the challenges – and value – that people with disabilities have in the workforce.

People with disabilities face unemployment at a rate four times greater than the general population – and not for a lack of desire or willingness to work. Individuals with disabilities can work when provided with the opportunity. Creating a good first impression can help to open doors.

On Saturday, Oct. 18, the William Charles Salon in Fair Oaks, volunteered its time and space to host the “Presenting Yourself Positively in an Interview” event, exclusively supporting job seekers with disabilities.

Seven women enrolled in PRIDE Industries’ Supported Employment Program received makeovers. The Supported Employment program helps individuals with disabilities prepare for and sustain jobs in the community. The makeovers included haircuts, esthetician services, and makeup by a professional makeup artist. For Ashley, who had a scheduled new employee orientation the following Monday – the makeover came at a perfect time. “When you feel good, you want to do a better job,” says Ashley.

Below are a few event photos and before & afters:

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For others, it was the confidence-inspiring boost needed to continue searching for employment. After nearly 20 years in the insurance field, Bridget has been unemployed for over a year. Like many individuals with disabilities, Bridget is capable and anxious to work, but she has struggled to find an opportunity to demonstrate her skills. “I feel re-energized after the makeover, more confident,” Bridget says. “I feel good.” Thanks to the makeover, Bridget is now able to present herself in a more positive way. She is inspired to continue her search for a job as a Litigated Claims professional.

The event served a diverse group of women from all walks of life, each with unique obstacles and stories. Through PRIDE’s Supported Employment Program, they gain job-seeking training, interviewing skills and job etiquette knowledge.  Some were seeking first jobs; others were working toward re-entering the workforce after a disability diagnosis.

The day began with a fun catered lunch, generously provided by Noodles & Company of Citrus Heights, a PRIDE Industries supporter and employer of people with disabilities.

Anyone will tell you: when you look good, you feel good. Removing one more obstacle helped to move these individuals forward on their search. “The makeover reminds me that it is important to maintain a good look, and it motivates me to continue looking for work,” Bridget says.

How can you make a difference for individuals with disabilities?

  • Patronize or partner with businesses that employ people with disabilities.
  • Hire PRIDE Industries and its employees for your business service needs
  • Employ people with disabilities through your business. Contact us. We’d be happy to help! Contact us at:

Together we can change lives…one job at a time.

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