Opportunity Village is set to honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) through October and is seeking support from the Southern Nevada community.
LAS VEGAS – As Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village is committed to making sure everyone has a place is today’s workforce.
That’s why, for the entire month of October, the non-profit will be celebrating the 75th National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) put on by the United States Department of Labor. Opportunity Village will recognize clients with disabilities that have made progress through organizational programs and attained jobs in the community, talk about the economic impact of a vibrant and diverse workforce, and highlight partners that have helped make it all possible in Southern Nevada.
At Opportunity Village, several clients that were holding jobs and earning a paycheck in months past were adversely affected by COVID-19. Many, however, have returned to work in a campus setting or at their various job sites around the community.
“These last seven months have been difficult for everyone, particularly for the vulnerable population we serve at Opportunity Village. Many have never felt more isolated, alone or uncertain, so we’re thrilled many of these folks have returned to work and re-gained ‘purpose’ in their lives,” said Bob Brown, President & CEO of Opportunity Village. “We’re excited to highlight these individuals during the month of October and echo the national theme of ‘Increasing Access and Opportunity.’”
When Opportunity Village closed its doors on March 18, departments across the organization, including business contracts, were affected. As of October 12, Opportunity Village is up to 50% capacity on-campus and many clients who have returned are working on the business contracts that have picked back up in the organization’s Employment Resource Center. Many work sites that employ Opportunity Village clients through service contracts are also fully operational, allowing business lines like the Custodial Crew to be out in the community again and earning a paycheck.
This year marks not only the 75th observance of NDEAM, but also the 30th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each October, NDEAM celebrates America’s workers with disabilities and reminds employers of the importance of inclusive hiring practices.
Noted philanthropists Billy and Susan Walters announced at the start of NDEAM that they would commit to matching every dollar donated to Opportunity Village up to $1 million through the end of the year. Other local businesses, such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Diamondback Land Surveying, Modern Woodmen and Southwest Gas have also supported the NDEAM campaign at Opportunity Village.
About Opportunity Village
Mission: Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible founded Opportunity Village in 1954. Now, more than six decades later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the United States.
Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village serves nearly 2,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more purposeful and interesting.
Opportunity Village citizens – individuals who were previously considered unemployable – work at Opportunity Village’s Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $3.7 million in 2016. They are hardworking and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more fulfilling lives.
Primarily a self-funded organization, Opportunity Village generates the majority of its operational funding through its employment contracts and fundraising efforts such as the Magical Forest and Great Santa Run, saving Nevada taxpayers more than $37 million annually.