Grand Opening of Training Center to Support Employment for People with Disabilities at OfficeMax
WEST ORANGE, N.J.—With the grand opening of the Aspire CareerLink Training Center on August 6, in Illinois, OfficeMax® will begin training people with disabilities for jobs in its distribution and retail centers, an initiative supported by Kessler Foundation.
In 2012, Kessler Foundation awarded the Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE) with a $323,333 Signature Employment Grant to partner with OfficeMax, a leading provider of office and facility supplies, technology and services, in the creation of a successful employment model for people with disabilities. “We are excited to see the OfficeMax project evolve and begin job training for people with disabilities,” said Elaine Katz, vice president of Grants and Special Initiatives at Kessler Foundation. “OfficeMax will set a standard of a national company harnessing grant dollars and creating a sustainable method to successfully employ individuals with disabilities while adding to their bottom line.” Katz will attend the grand opening.
The Aspire CareerLink Training Center will supply job training and support through a specialized curriculum to prepare adults with disabilities for meaningful, professional careers. The training will focus on supply chain, warehouse and retail environments while incorporating OfficeMax’s core values as well as safety, job and social communication skills. Corporate disability experts from APSE will also provide support through monitoring progress and analyzing each training area to better serve the facility.
OfficeMax and APSE, with the aid of Kessler Foundation, will continue to collaborate to expand the program to centers across the nation. In the two-year grant period, the project will involve at least four OfficeMax facilities and support 40 jobseekers with disabilities. Through Kessler Foundation funding, OfficeMax and APSE can share the successful disability employment model with other markets in the U.S.
Signature Employment Grants are Kessler Foundation’s largest grants. Awarded for a period of two years, the grants support innovative employment initiatives that produce sustainable employment outcomes for people with disabilities nationwide.
Aspire is one of the largest human service nonprofits in west suburban Chicago. Its mission is to support the successes of children and adults with developmental disabilities, strengthen their families and build embracing communities.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.