DePaul Industries, Albertina Kerr Centers & Others Join Forces to Secure Competitive Employment Opportunities for People with Significant Disabilities
Focusing on integrated solutions for competitive employment, four nonprofit organizations in the Portland metro area will drive employment growth for people with developmental disabilities in the region's large businesses via the highly successful Project SEARCH program.
PORTLAND, Ore., March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new partnership has been formed to expand the nationally-acclaimed Project SEARCH program in the Portland metro area. DePaul Industries, Albertina Kerr Centers, Port City Development Center, and Bethesda Lutheran Communities will combine resources to work together with large local businesses to improve employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
Project SEARCH is a national workforce development program designed to simultaneously serve businesses and people with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities through an innovative career development approach. Participants are hired directly by large businesses and, working side-by-side with non-disabled colleagues, are supported by an on-site Project SEARCH job coach who acts as a single point of contact for training and accommodation. In this setting, participants have shown to decrease turnover rates and increase morale. DePaul Industries began spearheading the program in Oregon and has established successful partnerships with The Standard, Providence Health & Services, and Oregon Health & Science University.
"I am very excited about The Project SEARCH Partnership," states Erin Riehle, Co-Founder of Project SEARCH at the Cincinnati, OH Children's Hospital in 1996, "As I believe that this will enable the organizations involved to take the next step in the growth and development of the program. I am very appreciative of DePaul Industries' efforts in spearheading Project SEARCH and in establishing relationships with some of the most prestigious businesses in the area."
The collaboration is an ideal methodology for Oregon's 'Employment First' initiative, requiring that employment in integrated work settings be the priority option for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The Partnership's primary focus, however, is on the business solutions that Project SEARCH provides—reducing turnover, stabilizing departments, and leveraging a dedicated, qualified workforce.
"The Project SEARCH Partnership will result in fulfilling, integrated jobs for people with developmental disabilities," says Dave Shaffer, President & CEO of DePaul Industries. "In turn, these jobs will produce positive business results—as they already have shown in our current sites. We are determined to do more."
About DePaul Industries:
Since 1971, DePaul Industries has focused on its vision of changing the landscape of employment of people with disabilities while growing into the Northwest's most comprehensive outsourcing specialist. DePaul helps people with disabilities to have the opportunity to work through a self-sustaining business model that generates more than 97% of revenue through the operation of three core businesses: food packaging & contract manufacturing, temporary staffing services, and security services. To date, DePaul has trained or employed in excess of 15,000 people with disabilities and paid wages and benefits of more than $200 million. For more information about DePaul Industries, visit depaulindustries.com.
About Albertina Kerr Centers:
Every day Albertina Kerr helps children, families and adults living with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, empowering them to lead fuller, self-determined lives. A private non-profit organization founded in Portland in 1907, Kerr utilizes more than 91 cents of every dollar on programs and services for Oregonians. For more information about Albertina Kerr, call 503.239.8101 or visit AlbertinaKerr.org.
About Port City Development Center:
Since 1978, Port City Development Center has been providing employment, job training and support services for people with developmental disabilities in the Portland metro community. Its production, art and farming, job development, community volunteers, fabric arts, silk-screening, woodworking, custodial and other programs provide meaningful work, skills building and community integrations opportunities for individuals with disabilities. For more information on Port City Development Center, visit portcitydevelopment.org.
About Bethesda Lutheran Communities:
Bethesda Lutheran Communities provides resources to educate friends, families, congregations and other service providers about developmental disabilities. For more information on Bethesda Lutheran Communities, visit bethesdalutherancommunities.org.
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