Goodwill Industries International joins nationwide effort to advance opportunities during National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Rockville, MD — Throughout the month of October, Goodwill is proud to stand with the U.S. Department of Labor to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This national campaign raises awareness about the contributions people with disabilities make in America’s workforce, and it encourages companies and organizations to build business cultures that value diversity, respect and employment opportunities for all.
NDEAM’s roots trace back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
For more than a century, Goodwill Industries International has helped individuals navigate challenges to finding employment, and Goodwill is proud to have helped millions of Americans find and keep good jobs. These are people like Robbie Green, a veteran who not long ago found himself paralyzed and was told his chances at a normal life were over. Doctors said that he’d not drive, work or live alone again. Instead of giving up, he redefined his place in the world. With support from the Veterans Administration (VA) and Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth (TX), he received training in a new skill: refurbishing computers donated to Goodwill. Green now works at Goodwill, in addition to volunteering at the VA hospital where he helps other veterans with disabilities, and he is also training for the National Veteran Wheelchair Games, in which he’s already competed several times. Recognizing his success, Goodwill recently named Green its 2014 Achiever of the Year. View a video about Robbie’s journey to success.
Green’s story embodies this year’s NDEAM theme, “Expect. Employ. Empower.” These words are familiar to everyone at Goodwill, which works with people to develop their employment skills and find good jobs.
“Millions of Americans with disabilities make important contributions to the workplace every day,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “At Goodwill, we encourage all local businesses to join us in a commitment to employ and empower people with disabilities.”
Last year, Goodwill helped more than 278,000 people with disabilities gain job skills and earn employment. To learn more about how Goodwill can help you find a job, visit www.goodwill.org.