SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

October 09, 2007 15:17 ET

Goodwill Marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Employment for People With Disabilities Remains a Challenge

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - October 9, 2007) - With only one out of every three people with disabilities who want to work reporting being employed, Goodwill Industries is marking the 19th celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month by reaffirming its commitment to helping people with disabilities find and keep good jobs so that they can support themselves and their families.

"Goodwill strives to set the standard for hiring practices of people with physical and mental disabilities in the public and private sectors. According to research, employees with disabilities found that 92 percent of employees with disabilities rated average or better in job performance compared to 90 percent of employees without disabilities," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Goodwill guides companies and organizations on how to create a culture that provides appropriate accommodations for people with disabilities."

Contrary to the belief of many employers, most workers with disabilities require no special accommodations, while the cost to accommodate those who do need assistance is minimal or often less than employers believe. In addition, a 30-year DuPont study found that employees with disabilities have above-average records in attendance, job dependability, performance, and safety compared with their peers.

One such standout employee is Bob May, a veteran with disabilities who lived homeless for more than a decade. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, May was hired by Goodwill as a custodian at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. In 2004, May lost the full use of his right leg in a work-related accident, but continued to work. Eventually, he was promoted to property management coordinator, a position in which he is responsible for all janitorial equipment repairs and maintenance -- saving Goodwill thousands of dollars each year.

"Hiring workers like Bob makes good business sense," says Kessinger. "It is time for employers to tap into this pool of committed, reliable workers and let go of misconceptions about Americans with disabilities." To learn more about working with people with disabilities, visit www.goodwill.org.

For free broadcast quality video, please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/Goodwill.

OVERVIEW

-- Network of 184 independent, community-based organizations in the U.S., Canada and 14 other countries.

-- Provides job training and employment services, job placement opportunities and post-employment support.

-- Strengthens communities and families through independent, tax-paying members of society.

2006 HIGHLIGHTS

-- 930,755 people benefited from Goodwill career services.

-- 149,775 people placed in jobs -- that's every 56 seconds of every business day.

-- $2.91 billion total revenue.

-- 83% of revenues funded employment programs and support services.

-- 2,100+ retail stores and an online auction site, www.shopgoodwill.com.

-- 62 million donors.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Christine Nyirjesy Bragale, ABC
    Director, Media Relations
    Goodwill Industries International
    Ph. (240) 333-5264
    E-mail: newsroom@goodwill.org