Pepsi ACT comes to Goodwill-Easter Seals to help individuals with disabilities get job training and find jobs

Over two weeks in February, the Pepsi ACT (Achieving Change Together) initiative came to Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota to provide outreach, recruiting and job skills training to persons with disabilities.The program also worked to connect them to open positions at Pepsi and other companies.

In 2013 PepsiCo and Disability Solutions @Ability Beyond created a partnership and developed a multi-year project to expand the number of people with disabilities that are employed by PepsiCo.

When asked how Disability Solutions became involved in the project, Kevin McClosky, the Director of Partnership Development at Disability Solutions, explained that “We have a great relationship with Pepsi, and they wanted to do a national initiative for people with disabilities.”

Disability Solutions was founded on the principle of bringing the most experienced disability inclusion consultants together to provide clients with one resource for experience, expertise and execution. “We educate partners on what jobs are available and help prepare candidates,” Kevin commented. Disability Solutions focuses on helping corporations tap new channels for qualified talent, leverage federal and state hiring incentives and strengthen their workforce through diversity.

The first week of the training was an Open House to meet job seekers and look at their skill set. During the second week, the program taught soft skills, gave participants help with interview preparation, and went over specifics of job openings that Pepsi had in the area.

However, the goal of the program is not just to fill open positions at Pepsico. “We love for the people who go through training to fill open positions at Pepsi,” Kevin remarked. “But the training that’s provided is really to help job seekers find a job anywhere.”

To date, the Pepsi ACT program has launched in seven different cities across the country, and hopes to eventually be in every state. The program has been expanding thanks to a grant from the Kessler foundation. Pepsico’s goal is that Pepsi ACT will inspire other corporations to create sustainable hiring initiatives based on the successes of the Pepsi ACT model.