Department of Social Services, Building a Stronger Louisiana - Kristy H. Nichols, Secretary
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2009

Contact: Trey Williams
225-342-6700

DSS Collaboration Leads to Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

BATON ROUGE - More than two dozen disabled Louisianians have started new careers though a three-month collaboration between the Department of Social Services' (DSS) Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) and PRIDE Industries to fill contract jobs at Fort Polk.

"The Department of Social Services (DSS) is committed to developing strong partnerships with businesses that lead to job opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Louisiana," said DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols. "When citizens with disabilities achieve gainful employment, our state's economy, local communities and, more importantly, individual lives and families benefit."

LRS, which works to assist individuals with disabilities to receive the training they need to compete for jobs in Louisiana's workforce, partnered with PRIDE Industries to host job application workshops for agency clients from four regions of the state. Of the dozens who interviewed, 25 applicants were hired and completed the training process for employment with PRIDE Industries.

The entry and journey level career positions filled through the partnership included carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC mechanics, heavy equipment operators and general maintenance workers. The hourly pay rates range from $9.17 to $18.54 and benefits includes medical, dental and vision, along with paid vacations and holidays.

LRS also offers various employment incentives to employers , including On-the-Job Training (OJT) and tax credits. In 2008, LRS' flagship program, Vocational Rehabilitation, provided assistance to more than 29,867 individuals with disabilities.

PRIDE Industries is a nonprofit organization providing a variety of business solutions to meet the manufacturing and service needs of business and government nationwide. PRIDE employs more than 4,300 individuals across 12 states and in the nation's capitol, including more than 2,700 people with disabilities. Founded in 1966, PRIDE is headquartered in Roseville, California.

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627 N. Fourth St. | Baton Rouge, LA 70802 | PH: (225) 342-0286 | FX: (225) 342-8636 | www.dss.louisiana.gov



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