Did you know that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month? Despite the field we all choose to work in, it came as a surprise to many of us.
While each of us has a skillset – either a natural aptitude or interests that we chose to pursue further education in, the majority of us can say that we’ve been given the opportunity to showcase those skills. Our friends, family, co-workers, and the company we work for itself has encouraged our growth; our individuality; our unique talents. Unfortunately, that statement doesn’t hold true for a significant number of people with disabilities. There is a distinct lack of job roles filled by people with disabilities. Are people with disabilities any less valuable? No. Are they any less able to contribute? Very likely not. Despite that, the Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports that over 80% of people with disabilities are unemployed.
On a routine basis, CSI applauds and shares the small business owners that open up restaurants, movie theaters, bakeries, and the like, not only employing, but celebrating the staff members with disabilities in our communities. Most often, these community businesses are founded by friends and family members of those with a disability; a direct reaction to their loved one being unemployed by “mainstream” companies. We have admiration and endless applause for everyone who has chosen to found their own company in response to being told “no” by larger companies, but we can’t help but ponder how to best support and encourage those who don’t find themselves in a position to start their own company for a multitude of reasons. Furthermore, how do we best support those under the CSI umbrella to chase their dreams? We can see the spark of creativity, the desire to contribute, the yearning to grow in many of their eyes; it’s just a matter of finding the right position at the right company.
CSI is so proud to be able to provide guidance and support to a number of people in growing their job skills and finding meaningful employment. Our Connecticut office has been a shining star in this process! It’s a joy to see people we support taking pride in their work, be responsible, proud and hardworking team members as they engage in their community. That we can share quotes and success stories is a testament to the dedication of our community partners, each of the supported individuals who successfully find employment, and our amazing job coaches.
“We value the partnership we share with Community Systems, the housekeeping teams help us keep our facilities clean so that we can serve our ministry and we support the efforts of Community Systems in providing employment. The coaches are dedicated to providing top notch service and we appreciate their consistent attention.”
Stephanie Pitman, Business Manager
Silver Lake Conference Center
“CSI has a very effective workforce, always reliable, always productive. CSI staff give 110% supporting individuals who work here”.
Robert Cristaldi, Manager
Napa Auto Parts
While we dream of a time when it’s not needed to raise awareness of National Disability Employment Awareness month, we continue to be encouraged by the small steps in our larger communities. Every company, large or small, that hires someone based on their ability, not their disability is one step closer to lowering that staggering figure of 80% unemployment.
We want your input! Have you encouraged companies in your community and/or the company you work for to open up positions to those with disabilities?