West Orange, NJ. May 12, 2014. Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, of Kessler Foundation is the author of "Social enterprise businesses: A strategy for creating good jobs for people with disabilities" (DOI: 10.3233/JVR-140670) epublished ahead of print on May 5 by the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. Katz, an expert in disability employment funding, is senior VP of Grants & Communications. Kessler Foundation conducts rehabilitation research that improves function and long-term outcomes including employment for people with neurological disabilities.
"Despite the gains achieved since the Americans with Disabilities Act, studies have shown that the employment gap between people with and without disabilities remains high at 46%," said John O'Neill, PhD, CRC, director of Disability & Employment Research at Kessler Foundation. "Moreover, our monthly analyses of data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show little change in the employment picture for people with disabilities. Therefore, developing strategies that can add substantial numbers of jobs for this population is critical."
"Social enterprise businesses are an attractive model for expanding employment for people with disabilities," she noted. "Not only are good jobs created for this underserved minority, the businesses serve the needs of the community, and often generate revenue that lessens reliance on external funding. Optimally, employees are integrated into the workforce and earn market-driven pay rates."
In the article, Katz details two very different nonprofit social enterprise businesses helped by seed funding from Kessler Foundation Hudson Community Enterprises, a document management company in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Destination Desserts, a food truck enterprise in St. Louis, Missouri.
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