Friday, January 6, 2012

Disability & Employment: The Good, Bad and Better

Billy, Progress Inc. client, attaches instructions to a refurbished Comcast Cable remote control.
The Good

The U.S. Labor Department delivered great news Friday - unemployment numbers are lower than they've been in more than two years. About 200,000 new jobs were added in December alone. That news brings a glimmer of hope to all Americans facing unemployment.

The Bad
However, on the heels of that good news, Disability Scoop reported the unfortunate job outlook for Americans with disabilities. Unemployment for that group of workers increased slightly from 13 percent in November to 13.5 percent in December.

The Better

Those numbers could see a shift by next month. The employment outlook recently improved for several Progress Inc. clients in need of work.
Several of our clients now have employment thanks to a new partnership with Comcast Cable. Comcast has agreed to ship more than 3,000 used and/or slightly damaged remote controls to our Day Center, so that our folks can inspect, clean and package them for reuse. The partnership is in the process of becoming a great Facility Based program that offers our older adults with intellectual disabilities a meaningful work day.

The remotes are shipped monthly, and Comcast could add to our shipment further down the line giving even more adults with intellectual disabilities an opportunity at a fulfilling work day. Future corporate partnerships will ensure that more of the folks we serve will find ways to attain and keep employment. More details about those partnerships will be announced in a later post.

"We have some folks that are aging that don’t want to participate in community-based activities, but would still like to be productive in their day. This partnership has provided that for these folks," said Susan Hutchison, Associate Director of Day Programs at Progress Inc.

Comcast employees and Progress Inc. staff and clients that work on the refurbishing project.

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