Mayor’s Proclamation Supports National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Today Goodwill Industries in partnership with the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors hosted a special ribbon cutting and mayoral proclamation to celebrate the month of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

The event was held at the Omni Center in Council Bluffs and brought together more than 100 community members to celebrate NDEAM. High school students from Goodwill’s Work Experience program served refreshments as guests gathered for the presentation.

The program began with introductions from the Council Bluff’s Ambassadors through the Chamber of Commerce. Dozens of Ambassadors representing a wide variety of businesses and organizations stood in support of the proclamation.

Council Bluffs Mayor, Matt Walsh thanked the crowd for their support of NDEAM. Mayor Walsh emphasized the importance of work in defining oneself. Citizens with disabilities also need the opportunity to work and contribute their skills to the community.

Mayor Walsh presented the official proclamation affirming Council Bluff’s commitment to building an inclusive community for all citizens. The city recognizes the month of October as an opportunity to raise awareness on disability issues throughout the community.

Next Dan Koenig, representing the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, explained the Chamber’s responsibility to educate businesses about the importance of inclusive hiring practices. He highlighted the impact of programs like Work Experience at Goodwill, which provides high school students with disabilities the opportunity to develop employment skills in a supportive environment.

Goodwill's Work Experience and Staff

Brad Krause, owner of Grease Monkey in Council Bluffs spoke about his experience working with representatives from Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation to employ individuals with disabilities. He explained the positive impact that disabled employees have had on his business.

Goodwill Work Experience participant, Noah Wegener spoke about the importance of work in his life. This is Noah’s third year in the Work Experience Program and he’s learned many tips to being successful on the job; including hard work, being responsible and being nice to your boss. Noah is proud to be able to work and contribute to his household. He looks forward to the future and gaining more independence as he works toward his goals.

Goodwill is proud to bring together many community members committed to bringing awareness to issues for employees with disabilities. Visit our interactive calendar HERE for more information and events to celebrate NDEAM. Check out our Facebook to view a video from this morning’s event (click the Videos tab on our Facebook page).

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Improve your job skills with READY

READY services provided by Goodwill offers free, one-on-one, job readiness services to anyone who is unemployed or underemployed.

Assistance with resumes, job applications, cover letters, letter of explanation or referrals to other programs in our community are just some of the employment assistance services READY provides. If your barriers to employment keep you from searching for work or if you aren’t confident in your interviewing skills, the READY program is for you.

Since July 2016, READY has helped 665 individuals in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area with employment assistance. Of those served, 200 individuals have found employment with an average wage of $12.26 per hour and 38 hours per week.

READY is continuously looking for participants and organizations to work with. Our services are offered at no cost to participants or partnering agency. We currently partner with seven agencies in the Metro Area. For those not able to come to our main office on 72nd & Ames, READY may be able to bring services to outbound partnering locations.

If you have any questions, or would like to set up an appointment, please contact Megan at 402-231-1901.

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