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Enable America Expands Operations in Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-09-17 (Revised/Updated 2010-05-27) - Enable America improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities is expanding operations in Raleigh North Carolina - Enable America.

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Enable America, the non-profit devoted to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, is expanding operations in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A number of prominent Raleigh businesses have agreed to take part in the organization's employee mentoring programs.

Enable America, a non-profit organization devoted to empowering people with disabilities to achieve independence through employment, will expand operations in Raleigh next month.

"Enable America has improved the lives of countless people with disabilities since we started in 2005," said Richard Salem, founder and CEO of the organization. "Now we look forward to raising awareness in Raleigh and the surrounding area."

Salem has strong ties to the Raleigh community. As a teenager he lost his eyesight, but that could not stop his ambition. He went on to become the first blind person to graduate from Duke Law School, and then became a successful attorney and businessman in Tampa for more than 30 years.

Today, Enable America helps those with similar challenges achieve their dreams. One way is through employee mentoring programs. Enable America matches mentors from local companies with "mentees" from the community, people with disabilities or wounded veterans who often have difficulty finding work. While the experience helps those people become more employable, there is also value to the companies.

"Mentor businesses are finding great benefit in participating," says Enable America Executive Director Steve LaBour. "The program enables them to tap into an employee pool that is eager to learn more about workplace opportunities while giving businesses valuable insight on the benefits of mentoring and hiring people with disabilities. It is truly a win-win for everyone involved."

A number of prominent Raleigh companies have already signed-up, including Progress Energy, The Royal Bank of Canada, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rex HealthCare, WakeMed, SAS Institute, and the Carolina Hurricanes. Enable America will soon hire a locally based program manager who will work on expanding the program within the community.

Enable America will also organize community connection forums, designed to bring local leaders, lawmakers, employers and service providers together to learn and share success stories. These meetings are an important step in building a bridge between those with disabilities, and their community.

Other successful programs launched by Enable America include VetConnect, which is dedicated to helping wounded warriors re-acclimate to civilian life, by pairing them with veterans who have faced similar challenges. Since 2007, more than two-hundred wounded warriors and their families have been served by VetConnect mentors across the country. Another successful venture is Team Enable, which encourages physical fitness by people of all abilities, providing structure and support to organize activities.

To mark the expansion of the Raleigh operation, Enable America will hold a community celebration of Disability Mentoring Day at the downtown Marriott, on the morning of October 21. To learn more about the event, please call Enable America at (877) 362-2533.

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