October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

A message from Jeff Brown, Lifeworks President and CEO

Each October, Lifeworks joins organizations across the country in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This is our opportunity to recognize the contributions of workers with disabilities and highlight the many job seekers ready to work.

I’m so proud that Lifeworks has always been on the forefront of community employment – empowering individuals to achieve their career goals and reach beyond the expectations of others.

Today, Lifeworks partners with over 400 businesses throughout the Twin Cities and greater Mankato area, supporting more than 800 individuals with disabilities working competitively in the community. Our work to ensure that all of the individuals we support earn at least minimum wage has reinforced our commitment to our mission and our community.

It is our mission to not only support the people we serve in retaining work and creating careers, but also to reinforce the value of a diverse workforce to the businesses we work with. Our employer partners are an integral part of the work we do, empowering our associates build confidence, become financially independent, and live the life that they choose.

In the spirit of celebration, I want to share some of my favorite employment stories from 2018:

Personal Achievement Winner Corey Baker works at Christopher & Banks, picking and packing boxes for shipment. He started part time, worked his way up to full time, and now has the highest quality measure of anyone on the floor.

A new partnership with Travelers and Vocational Rehabilitation Services allowed us to help develop a paid internship training program that led to full time positions as legal operations specialists for the participants who learned the work and met the job expectations. Travelers now is looking at other ways to practice inclusive hiring and partnering with Lifeworks.

And finally, Bridget Campbell, who networked during her time in the hospitality industry in Mankato, reconnecting with a former supervisor at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, who eagerly promoted her when he became guest services manager. As assistant executive housekeeper at Fairfield, Bridget now oversees a team of three to six housekeepers in any given shift.

I could go on with so many more stories just like this – and just from the first 9 months of the year! The work we all do to support inclusive employment is making a big difference in the lives of individuals and throughout the business community. Thanks to all of you for your support of Lifeworks and dedication to our mission – and thank you for helping Lifeworks be a leader in in Minnesota.