Washington, D.C. (October 15, 2013) – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, is proud to announce Jobs First! of Manitowoc County in Wisconsin as the second and final grant recipient of the AAPD Pipelines of Talent Initiative (Pipelines). AAPD launched the Pipelines grant program in September to expand economic opportunity for young Americans with disabilities by elongating the AAPD Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) program into a year-long initiative.
“Jobs First! of Manitowoc County is a driving force for increasing economic opportunities of people with disabilities in Wisconsin,” said Cheryl Sensenbrenner, AAPD Board member and Wisconsin native, and wife of Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-R). “The AAPD Pipelines grant supports the critical work of Jobs First! as part of a national strategy to invest in youth with disabilities across the country.”
DMD is a nationwide annual event held on the third Wednesday of October as a part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and is one of the longest running flagship programs. Last year, over 16,500 students engaged with mentors in participating job shadowing programs from 250 locations across the country. Expanding DMD into a year-long program through AAPD Pipelines promotes equal opportunity, economic power and independent living by increasing work opportunities for Americans with disabilities.
“Young people with disabilities are ready, willing and able to contribute to society when given a fair chance,” said TaKeisha Walker, the Director of Workplace and Leadership Initiatives of AAPD. “As the next generation of people with disabilities transition from the education system to the workforce, the movement to a yearlong DMD program will better meet the expectations of these youth by increasing work opportunities and further prepare them for their careers.”
“The AAPD Pipelines grant in Manitowoc County will provide a greater opportunity for community members to work directly with individuals who have identified disabilities to experience, assess, and when appropriate restructure entry and higher level jobs within organizations to better meet both the organization’s and individual’s work needs,” said David Koenig, DMD Jobs First! of Manitowoc County Coordinator.
The Pipelines grant is made possible by the generous support from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF).
Last month AAPD awarded Disability Mentoring Day Iowa (DMDIowa) as the first recipient of the Pipelines program. For more information, please click here.
For more information on DMD, please click here.
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The American Association of People with Disabilities is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.