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 Investing in Employees with Disabilities Benefits Community
October 3, 2011 (San Diego)—October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. Slow economic growth means that businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations have to innovate to compete in a global economy.
"San Diego County needs motivated, productive employees who will use their talent and creativity to produce results. Individuals with disabilities represent a hidden population of skilled workers, across all industries, who have demonstrated that they are capable of overcoming daily challenges and are ready to play a vital role in creating solutions and solving problems that are often overlooked," a press release from Goodwill states.
Since 1930, Goodwill Industries of San Diego County has trained and hired people with disabilities to work in retail stores, donation centers, workforce development programs, and career centers.
Trained workers with disabilities have also been placed in emerging fields both inside and outside of Goodwill including retail merchandising, quality control, secure document destruction and imaging services, computer disassembly, and tourism.” Goodwill depends on their expertise and this diverse workforce has helped Goodwill grow into a leading social enterprise in San Diego, as well as throughout the world,” the organization’s media release added.
Department of Labor statistics demonstrate that people with disabilities are a dependable and valuable resource who have proven to exhibit higher rates of employee retention, thus reducing hiring and training costs- which is a large expense for most companies.
Businesses are also able to leverage tax benefits available to those that employ people with disabilities and attract a broader customer base for their goods and services. With the global interest in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), hiring qualified individuals from this population, which also includes veterans, youth, and older workers, demonstrates that the business is committed to the community and the economic well-being of its residents at all levels.  
To celebrate National Disability Awareness Month locally, Goodwill will be handing out bookmarks to shoppers and donors, and assisting to educate our community about this hidden asset and how the public can make a difference simply by donating or shopping at Goodwill. 
To learn more about Goodwill’s career training, employment programs and business services visit or call 619-225-2200.

Goodwill Industries of San Diego County has been in operation continuously since 1930, and continues to provide training, employment services and jobs for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. GISD operates 13 retail stores, 2 book stores, multiple on-line stores, and an outlet/aftermarket auction facility. In addition, they accept donations at 16 free standing centers, have 6 community employment centers that offer assistance to job seekers and business free of charge (over 2,000 individuals each year) , a secure document imaging and destruction business, and  free computer/electronic recycling centers. Over the past few years, GISD has created over 400 new jobs bringing the number of employees to just under 900. Programs include Supported Employment (Individual and Group Placements), a two month paid training program, Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program, and a funded Youth program. GISD is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization with a volunteer board of directors and paid professional staff.
Goodwill Industries International is a member services organization representing a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of North America's top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise (Source: Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, 2009). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in nearly 2,600 stores and online at Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2010, 2.4 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 84 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services.

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