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Disability Action Center NW

Abilities, Inc. & The UPS Store Create A Unique Collaboration

Abilities, Inc., has long been known for its exceptional vocational training programs for adults with disabilities.
An exciting relationship with UPS and its subsidiary, Mail Boxes, Etc., Inc. (MBE), however, breaks new ground as it allows Abilities, Inc., to train individuals within the framework of a
unique collaboration, The UPS Store® at Abilities!.
The new venture also involves an unprecedented investment of time and resources from UPS and MBE, franchisor of The UPS Store, within the non-profit arena. UPS has a long, creative history with Abilities! but its contribution, as well as MBE’s, to this one-of-a-kind franchise unit, operated by Abilities, Inc., raises its involvement to a new level. UPS and MBE are not only underwriting the franchise costs but they are also getting involved in other aspects of the project.
Corporate personnel helped create the curriculum for the new Abilities, Inc. training program known as Printing, Packaging, Shipping & Mailroom Services (PPSM). UPS and MBE flew James Soldo, Director of PPSM, to California for a ten-day orientation at The UPS Store University, all at no cost to Abilities!.
Local franchisees of The UPS Store were also selected to serve on a Business Advisory Board
for The UPS Store at Abilities!, lending their expertise to the ongoing development of this project.
During the seven weeks of training, Abilities, Inc. consumers learn how to interact with customers, how to sell The UPS Store products and services, and how to work the sophisticated equipment. They learn the guidelines for shipping packages nationally and internationally and are trained to become “certified packing experts.”
The hope is that as many graduates of the PPSM Program as possible will
find work in similar careers. In fact, with the help of franchise consultant, Bob Kaufman, Abilities, Inc. was able to place a consumer in The UPS Store location in Manhattan.
With more than 4,300 locations in the United States, The UPS Store
network comprises the nation’s largest system of retail shipping, postal, document and business service centers. Edmund L. Cortez, Abilities! President & CEO commented, “I want to thank UPS and MBE for their great faith in our organization. We are all extremely grateful for this extraordinary opportunity.”
~ Edmund L. Cortez