PRIDE Industries, the nation’s leading employer of people with disabilities, celebrates its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Established by Congress in 1988 and observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices.
In 2021, 31.4 percent of employment-aged persons with a disability were employed, while 72.5 percent of persons without a disability were employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 1966, PRIDE Industries has worked to bridge this gap by hiring people with disabilities to provide award winning facilities management, manufacturing, and inclusive talent services. The goal of this work is an inclusive world where people of all abilities have equal access to employment.
“NDEAM’s message this year, ‘Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,’ is vital as workers with disabilities are often left out of conversations about workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Jeff Dern, President and CEO of PRIDE Industries. “With more than half our 5,000 employees disclosing disabilities, PRIDE Industries and our customers have proven that people with diverse abilities provide tremendous value to businesses.”
This year, PRIDE Industries is creating awareness around hiring individuals with neurodiverse conditions such as Dyslexia, Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Conditions, and Dyscalculia.
“Intentionally including neurodiverse talent in the workplace can be a strategic enabler to a company’s success,” said Dr. Jennifer Camota Luebke, Chief Workforce Inclusion Officer at PRIDE Industries. “Using assistive technology, implementing inclusion training for neurotypical coworkers, and providing job support for neurodivergent employees are ways to create a truly inclusive workplace and a diverse workforce.”
Promoting Awareness for More Inclusive Employment
Throughout the month, PRIDE Industries and some of its 300-plus customers will share employee and customer success stories in both English and Spanish and promote workplace inclusion.
For example, in May, PRIDE Industries partnered with the County of San Diego to host “Jay’s Program,” a recruiting event to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities opportunities for paid internships with county departments.
Since 2021, the social enterprise’s I AM ABLE Employment Helpline has assisted over 1,860 individuals in their journey toward employment. And PRIDE Industries partners with companies of all sizes to provide recruitment services and workforce inclusion training to private and public organizations nationwide.
PRIDE Industries was recognized, for a second consecutive year, as a 2022 Top Disability-Friendly Company by DIVERSEability Magazine and, also for a second consecutive year, as a 2022 Leading Disability Employer by the National Organization on Disability (NOD).
“We encourage employers and employees in all industries to learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month at www.dol.gov/NDEAM,“ said Dern. “Every day, we prove the value of an inclusive workforce model through our operational success across multiple industries. We show company leaders that if we can do it, so can they.”