“We have always known the need was there, and with increasing support from companies that recognize the benefits people with disabilities bring to the workplace, we can grow our programs that have already been proven to be successful,” said Richard Salem, founder and CEO of Enable America. “Our work now stretches across Florida, North Carolina, and Texas.
”Enable America is a proud participant in National Disability Mentoring Month, which is held each October, and is sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). This year Enable America will conduct employment mentoring programs at seven organizations in Florida and North Carolina. Among the participating companies are Progress Energy, Rex Healthcare, the Carolina Hurricanes, WakeMed, SAS and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
In conjunction with Veterans Day, Enable America centers its November focus on aiding veterans and wounded warriors. The highlight of Disabled Veteran Employment Mentoring Month will come the week of November 8-12, when Enable America will provide employment services to more than 40 veterans at six separate locations across three states, including Texas.
“We have developed two programs which we have found provide the greatest assistance when the unemployment rate is high,” said Steve LaBour, Executive Director of Enable America. “Our Career Mentoring Days match mentors from local companies with ‘mentees’ from the community, people with disabilities or wounded veterans who often have difficulty finding work. In addition, our Job Seekers Workshops help people improve their skills by giving them the opportunity to work in small groups and one-on-one with human resource managers, people who are actually on the front line of hiring.”
Enable America has been honored for its work in this field. Earlier this year the organization won the 2010 Non-Profit Achiever Award by The Corporate Achievers for Individuals with Disabilities (CAAID). CAAID Chairman Chris Rosa said, “Enable America’s disability employee mentoring programs are national best practices that are consistent with our core principles, promoting equal access, opportunity, and full participation of professionals with disabilities in a truly diverse global workforce.”
Enable America provides other services designed to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Community connection forums bring local leaders, lawmakers, employers and service providers together to learn and share success stories. These meetings are an important step in building a bridge between those with disabilities, and their community.
Other successful programs launched by Enable America include VetConnect, which is dedicated to helping wounded warriors re-acclimate to civilian life, by pairing them with veterans who have faced similar challenges. Since 2007, more than 200 wounded warriors and their families have been served by VetConnect mentors across the country.