October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
(New Orleans, LA)— Grateful for the important role performed by workers with disabilities, Goodwill Industries® of Southeastern Louisiana (Goodwill) commemorates National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) this October. This year’s theme for NDEAM, administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, is “#InclusionWorks,” which underscores the important role played by workers with disabilities in enhancing workplace diversity.
“Throughout its history, Goodwill has sought to meet the needs of all job seekers,” said William Jessee, president of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana. “To this day, we offer programs for youth, seniors, veterans, returning citizens and people with disabilities to reach their full potential through education, skills training and the power of work.”
NDEAM’s origins date back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week of October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The name was changed in 1962 by omitting the word “physically” to acknowledge workers with all types of disabilities. The period of recognition was extended to the full month of October in 1988.
“By fostering a culture that embraces individual differences, including disabilities, businesses profit by having a wider variety of tools to confront challenges,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, Jennifer Sheehy. “Our nation’s most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value. They know that inclusion works.”
For 69 years, Goodwill has worked to support job seekers with disabilities and specialized circumstances through training, placement and employment efforts, giving individuals like Kelly Parr a sense of independence and pride through work. “Goodwill has impacted Kelly’s life in so many ways. She has learned life changing skills…gained confidence, purpose and a quality of life that she wouldn’t have otherwise experienced,” said Kelly’s mother Patricia Parr. Kelly has a form of autism and recently celebrated her 15 year anniversary with Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana.
For more information about Goodwill’s mission and how it helps individuals with disabilities obtain meaningful employment, visit our website at www.goodwillno.org.
About Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana
Established locally in 1947, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to offering opportunities to people with disabilities and other employment disadvantages to improve their economic self-sufficiency through training, education, support services and employment. In 2015, 2,049 people received Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana’s employment and training services and 231 were placed into jobs. Goodwill operates more than 36 janitorial and grounds maintenance contracts and 20 retail stores in 14 cities—including Baton Rouge, Covington, Denham Springs (currently closed due to flood damage), Gonzales, Hammond, Houma, Kenner, Mandeville, Metairie, New Orleans, River Ridge, Slidell, Walker and Zachary.