Washington, DC, December 05, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Enable America, the nation’s first non-profit organization solely committed to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, is setting an agenda for greater achievement in 2013, to advance the accomplishments made during its anniversary celebration year in 2012.
“Ten years ago Enable America was founded on the principle that people with disabilities needed a ‘hand-up’ in order to maximize their potential in the American job market, and we’re proud to contribute to that cause,” said Enable America founder and CEO Richard Salem. “The knowledge we have gained over the past decade, combined with programs, resources, and networks we have developed, now position Enable America as a prime means for employers who want to increase the number of people with disabilities, including disabled veterans and wounded warriors, in their workplace.”
Ten Year Anniversary:
Enable America marked its ten-year anniversary with expansion of programming into the Washington, DC area. In addition to providing Career Mentoring Programs to corporate employers there, the organization also welcomed its first federal agency into the program when the FBI mentored disabled veterans and wounded warriors at two locations in the National Capital Region.
The September anniversary events included an executive roundtable discussion with leading authorities on the issue of improving employment for people with disabilities, and a reception to honor the accomplishments by two members of Congress. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Congressman C.W. Bill Young (R- Florida) each received Enable America awards of appreciation.
“Employment of people with disabilities is not something that is a charitable act. That's not what we're about,” Senator Harkin said as he received the Enable America honor. “What we're about is making sure that every individual has the opportunity to work, to work in a job that he or she enjoys, one that challenges them, and gives them the ability to proceed and to grow and develop more.”
New Initiatives for Employers:
In order to better serve the needs of employers, Enable America launched a new, corporate membership program. Inaugural members include Progress Energy, Eaton Corporation, IAP Worldwide Services, Clark Construction, and Diversified Information Technologies.
Enable America’s work with employers is nationwide, and especially strong in North Carolina. 2012 began with a reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh to honor companies, social service organizations, and program participants.
“Your dedication to assisting people with disabilities is crucial to our efforts,” Salem said at the event. “We are grateful to the support of Governor Bev Purdue and First Gentleman Bob Eaves in opening this beautiful home for us today, and to each of you for the work you do.”
Disabled Veterans and Wounded Warriors:
In response to a growing need to provide more support to those who have sacrificed through military service, Enable America is increasing outreach and services to this deserving population. That includes additional Enable America Career Mentoring programs for employers looking to hire more veterans, and Job Skills Workshops in which human resource professionals provide one-on-one training to job seekers, increasing their ability to find meaningful employment.
Enable America also helps companies pay tribute to those who have served. Working with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and Region’s Bank, a group of disabled veterans and wounded warriors were recognized through a “Fan of the Game” promotion. From a group of applicants, an executive committee picked five honorees, representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The five were honored at a series of events in March, including a Lightning game.
“The sacrifices made by all military members should never go unnoticed or under-appreciated,” said the Lightning’s Ryan Malone. A member of the selection committee, Malone has long been an advocate for programs in support of those who served in the U.S. Armed Services. “I would also like to thank Enable America for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this outstanding program.”
2013 and Beyond:
Since its founding in 2002, Enable America has worked to build a network that now includes more than 130 businesses nationwide, each of them committed to diversity in the workplace, and inclusion of people with disabilities.
“Unemployment in the disability community, including the jobless rate for our returning wounded warriors, continues at alarming levels,” Salem said. “While we are proud of all that Enable America accomplished in 2012, our goals have not been fulfilled, and our outreach must expand in the year ahead.”
Companies, agencies, organizations, and individuals that want to participate in Enable America programs can learn more at the organization’s website, EnableAmerica.org.