Employment & Community Options Celebrates 25th Anniversary & National Disability Employment Month

Despite high unemployment rates, local non-profit’s employment services shine on
Oct. 1, 2010 - PRLog -- SAN DIEGO, CA (October 1, 2010) – As unemployment rates soar to over 12 percent in California, the job market is becoming increasingly competitive in a bleak economy. This is an especially harsh reality for the 240,000 adults in California with a developmental disability who are suffering with very little or no income.

San Diego based non-profit, Employment & Community Options (E&CO) has teamed up with over 200 California businesses to give adults with developmental disabilities the support and opportunities they need to lead independent and fulfilling lives. For most, that journey often begins with a job, which is precisely why The United States Congress designated October National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

In 1985, long before the U.S. government recognized the abilities of adults with disabilities, E&CO was empowering this vulnerable population through employment, life-skills training and independent-living services. E&CO is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary of providing these exceptional services to over 1,200 Californians per year. Today, E&CO is recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as being one of the Top 20 Nonprofit Organizations in San Diego.

“People with developmental disabilities are willing and able to fill productive roles and work alongside other members of their communities in a competitive employment environment,” said Employment & Community Options’ CEO Nancy Batterman. “By providing the proper vocational skills and training, we help our program participants find fulfilling work, which in turn provides them with the satisfaction of contribution and belonging in society.”

However, many adults with disabilities are still being closed out or laid off from job opportunities. According to the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate is 60 percent higher for Americans with disabilities, which is why National Disability Employment Awareness Month is vital for the overall well-being of this vulnerable population.

With the poor economy further restricting employment options, E&CO is getting creative by creating independent business opportunities for its participants, allowing them to have increased control over their lives and careers.

E&CO's pilot program called the Coronado Enterprise Group (CEG) is proving that entrepreneurship is a challenging, yet viable alternative for employment. The CEG is a concierge service that is operated and maintained by E&CO participants. The business venture has been so successful over the past nine months, that similar new business opportunities are currently being explored in both Poway and San Jose.  

In addition to providing employment and independent living services to adults with developmental disabilities, E&CO also provides economically-disadvantaged seniors with job placement and vocational skills training. E&CO’s Senior Community Services Employment Program has been so successful, San Diego County has recently decided to extend its service agreement and the California State Department of Aging has named it one of the “Top 5” programs of its kind in the state.  

For more information on Employment & Community Options, including upcoming events, news mentions and a list of California employers, please visit www.communityoptions.org.

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E&CO is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) human services organization that creates and supports opportunities for adults with disabilities and economically disadvantaged seniors in making choices to live, work and enjoy life in their community with dignity and respect. On an annual basis, E&CO serves approximately 1,510 individuals in five counties: San Diego, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda and San Bernardino. E&CO is a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited provider.
Source:Employment & Community Options
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Tags:Disability, Disabilities, Employment, Employer, Employ, Developmental Disabilities
Industry:Non-profit, Family, Society
Location:San Diego - California - United States
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