For the last 70 years October has been designated National Disability Employment Awareness month.
For organizations like Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, who not only work every day helping individuals with disabilities overcome the barriers to employment that they face, but also advocate for fairer laws for those with disabilities, we’re thankful that the issue is getting attention.
It’s an issue that needs attention – the unemployment rate for those with disabilities, according to the Department of Labor, is twice as high as it is for those without a disability.
Alok is an inspirational example of someone with a disability who we helped to overcome a barrier to work. We were able to provide him with the training he needed to be prepared to work, and the support he needed to find a job and do it well.
Some of you are aware that Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is nearing an important milestone: in 2019 we will turn a hundred years old. As we look to the next hundred years of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, we expect to see an ever greater demand for the types of services and programs that we offer.
With that in mind, we’ve worked diligently to improve our programs and to reach and serve additional participants. One great example of this is the recent expansion of our College & Career Navigation program to include a college preparation course. This new course will allow us to serve more people who are considering college as a way to advance their career. Another is the expansion of the Working Well Mental Health Clinic in St. Cloud. Their new space will allow them to expand the services they are able to offer and helps us to increase the impact of our mental health services.
Thank you for your continued support. Together, we prepare people for work.