$2.7 Million Awarded by the Kessler Foundation to Increase Employment for People with Disabilities
The Kessler Foundation announced that $2.7 million in grant money will go to organizations that help employ people with cognitive and physical disabilities. The foundation is currently taking applications for its 2012 grants.
Kessler Foundation awarded $2.7 million in grants to organizations that advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The grants fund major programs in five states, as well as community initiatives primarily in New Jersey. Since 2005, the Foundation has distributed more than $20 million for employment projects for individuals with disabilities.
“People with disabilities make up 20% of the population, but only 3% of the workforce,” noted Foundation president and CEO Rodger DeRose. “It’s clear from our 2010 employment survey that closing the gap requires concerted efforts by government, the business community, and nonprofits. Kessler Foundation is unique among disability organizations in its focus on funding programs and partnerships that increase employment for people with disabilities.”
More than $1.7 million in Signature Employment Grants was awarded to programs in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. “Expanding beyond the state of New Jersey affords innovative organizations across the country the opportunity to compete for grants,” said Elaine Katz, VP of Grants and Special Initiatives for Kessler Foundation, “and broadens the reach of our funding.”
Community Employment Grants totalling $684,848 fund education, training and placement programs for people with cognitive and physical disabilities, including veterans. These grants expand employment in the hospitality industry, culinary arts and retail, document management and recreation.
Kessler Foundation also awarded 14 Special Initiative Grants totaling $138,500. These more targeted grants, which are by invitation only, support grass roots initiatives in the arts, sports, and education, and promote awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities.
Kessler Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2012 Grant cycle. Deadlines for online proposals are February 3 for Signature Grants and March 15 for Community Grants.
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