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Pictured : Michele Bennyhoff , Director , Michael Ziegler PRIDE Industries Foundation

PRIDE Industries Funding Pathways to Employment for People with Disabilities

In 2020 , PRIDE Industries renamed its fundraising arm in honor of the organization ’ s beloved late CEO , Michael Ziegler . The Michael Ziegler PRIDE Industries Foundation furthers Ziegler ’ s mission of creating employment for people with disabilities .

“ Mike was a charismatic innovator who created a social enterprise long before it was a widely known concept ,” says Michele Bennyhoff , Director of The Michael Ziegler PRIDE Industries Foundation . “ In his honor , we have created new , robust strategies to grow our service offerings .”
PRIDE Industries aims to create an inclusive world where people of all abilities have access to achieve their career goals . The Foundation helps the organization achieve its mission by funding six core categories : vocational training , paid internships , transportation , job coaching , assistive technology , and the I AM ABLE Employment Helpline .
Overall , these programs help thousands of people with disabilities overcome barriers to joining the workforce . The Foundation ’ s newest initiative is their I AM ABLE Helpline — the first resource of its kind in the country — which connects callers to employment programs and is accessible in English and Spanish . Within the last year , their live representatives helped over 1,000 people with disabilities , military veterans , former foster youth , and trafficking survivors — and connected many to paid internships and job coaching . They anticipate that this number will increase to 3,000 individuals in the next two years .
“ 100 percent of donations we receive directly support our mission ,” says Bennyhoff . The Foundation generates revenue from community partners , private foundation grants , and donations through general fundraising campaigns , events , a planned giving program , and several endowments .
“ The Foundation reached 30 percent growth over last year , and we would like to continue that trajectory ,” says Bennyhoff . “ We also aim to advance our national impact so that workplace inclusion and job opportunities for people with disabilities continue to increase .”
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80 comstocksmag . com | May 2022