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Enable America Congratulates Gerdau Ameristeel in Charlotte

Following successful programs to mentor people with disabilities in Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida, Gerdau Ameristeel once again proved its committment to diversity in the workplace by holding the first Enable America mentoring program in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 5.

Charlotte, NC, March 14, 2010 --( Once again Gerdau Ameristeel, the country’s second largest mini-mill steel producer, demonstrated exceptional commitment to employment mentoring and improving job opportunities for disabled veterans, as this month the steelmaker provided on-the-job training to disabled service members at its steel mill in Charlotte.

“We are pleased to bring our programming now to Charlotte,” said Steve LaBour, Executive Director of Enable America. “Working with a company like Gerdau, which understands the benefits that people with disabilities, including disabled veterans, bring to the workplace, provides us a great opportunity to advance our mission to increase employment opportunities for those with disabilities.”

While Gerdau has previously mentored people with disabilities at its operations in Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida, there was special reason for tailoring this session to disabled American service members. Among North Carolina areas that do not have a military installation, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region has the state’s largest military population at approximately 60,000. Along with that comes the lack of any centralized delivery system to provide the assistance veterans may need to find work in a difficult economy.

To assist in this project, Enable America partnered with the Community Area Resource Team in Charlotte (CART), and with the Veteran Administration’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program. Those combined efforts led to a day that was well received by all who participated.

“I received support and guidance today from a successful business that I don’t know where to find anywhere else, thanks to my mentor and to Gerdau,” one participant said.

Those mentors at Gerdau Ameristeel also benefitted from the session.

“I got to meet veterans who defended my country,” said one Gerdau employee. “Today was my turn to give them a hand up.”

Enable America’s mentoring program is designed to give people real-life work experience that can lead to employment. The organization matches mentor companies, such as Gerdau Ameristeel, with mentees from the community, people with disabilities or wounded veterans who often have difficulty finding work.

While the mentoring was a first for Enable America in Charlotte, it is not unique to the Tar Heel state. Last year Enable America expanded operations into Raleigh and eastern North Carolina, adding a locally based program manager to oversee expansion of services to all people with disabilities.

Information on future Enable America events in Charlotte and across North Carolina can be found on the organization’s web site,


About Enable America: Enable America was established in 2002 by attorney Richard Salem as a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment and live independently. The organization’s Community Connections, Business Connections, and VetConnect programs unite members of the disability community and business community to raise awareness and increase employment opportunities for the 54 million Americans with disabilities, including our nation’s wounded warriors. More information can be found on the organization’s web site,
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Enable America
Chris Jadick

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