October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and Goodwill of North Georgia is proud to join the country in celebrating the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with disabilities are landing jobs at record numbers despite the recent layoffs. In 2022, 21 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. were employed, up from 19 percent in 2021, the highest number since the U.S. began tracking this statistic in 2008. However, 30 percent of workers with a disability were employed part-time, compared with 16 percent of workers who were not disabled, and disabled people with jobs are more likely to be self-employed than people with jobs who are not disabled.
Goodwill of North Georgia has been providing strategic employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities for more than 30 years through securing federal contracts via the AbilityOne Program. This program helps deliver excellent facility management services to government and commercial customers. Within the organization, 3 percent of employees identify as people with disabilities, and over the past three years, the organization has served more than 5,635 people with disabilities.
DeAndre Gaskins and Darnell Champion are excellent examples of Goodwill’s efforts to help people with disabilities. DeAndre, born deaf in Baltimore, was hired as a groundsman at the National Archives of Atlanta through a Goodwill partnership despite having no prior work experience. He has been employed with Goodwill for the past two years and credits the organization for recognizing his independence and motivation to work and creating a place of normalcy for him.
Darnell, a returning citizen to society, was referred to Goodwill’s facility services program by a counselor and landed a job as a custodian supervisor for the CDC-Roybal Campus in 2004. Thanks to the opportunities he received from Goodwill, Darnell has been able to get his life back on track and plans to retire in 2024.
Goodwill of North Georgia believes that inclusion drives innovation and that inclusive workplaces are better. Recognizing NDEAM is another way the organization promotes access to gainful employment through workforce development programs for all Americans.
For more information about Goodwill’s efforts of supporting people with disabilities, visit www.Goodwillng.org.