October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

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Opportunity Services Joins Broad Effort to Observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Nationwide campaign takes place in October

Opportunity Services today announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“We all have a role to play in — and benefit to gain from — increasing opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities. This year’s theme encapsulates this in three powerful words. It conveys that advancing disability employment is about much more than just hiring. It’s about creating a continuum of inclusion. And the first step on this continuum is expectation,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, which is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

Reflecting this year’s theme, throughout the month, Opportunity Services will be sharing a variety of disability employment success stories and the role the nonprofit has played in fostering a disability-friendly work culture. Meet Chelsea, one of Opportunity Services success stories in Roseville, Minnesota:

Chelsea has been collaborating with Opportunity Services since April 2013 when she became a participant in the Project Search program. For a whole year Chelsea worked at Medtronic through Project Search while she was a student at Roseville High School. After she graduated from the Project Search program, Chelsea began her search for permanent employment with Opportunity Services. “I knew that I wanted to work at an administrative office, but I wasn’t sure where to go or what company to look for,” said Chelsea. “Opportunity Services assisted me in applying for many different job opportunities and then helped pick the best fit for me.”

Since June 2014, Chelsea has been working in the office of the Roseville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Dealership where she files receipts and documents for the new and used vehicles. Everyone at the Dealership is proud of Chelsea and her strong work ethic. “Chelsea is the best file clerk we’ve ever had,” states Office Manager Mary Droher “it’s very difficult to not have items in place when they are needed, and with Chelsea’s hard work and great organization, we no longer have any problems looking for what we need. She is always here early and is always wearing a smile.”

“I love my job,” remarks Chelsea. “I could not have found this job opportunity without Opportunity Services. They were instrumental in this process and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services to others.” Chelsea’s story is a great example of how Opportunity Services works for the client to find the perfect employment fit in the community.

To interview Chelsea, or to learn more about an Opportunity Services success story in your area, please contact Hannah Weiss, PR Manager at HannahW@OppServ.org.