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Illinois Treasurer Visits PAC in Celebration of NDEAM

On October 17th, Search was proud to host a visit from Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs at Planet Access Company (PAC)! The Treasurer was visiting in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

A team from the Treasurer’s office including JJ Hanley, Director, IL ABLE and Mike Sobczak, Digital Coordinator learned about Career Services at Search, including a recent initiative to hire individuals with disabilities in competitive employment at PAC. Today 22% of permanent positions at PAC are filled by people with disabilities. Treasurer Frerichs had the opportunity to tour PAC and to speak with Search’s employees about their experiences.

The Treasurer was also able to share information about the Illinois ABLE program which offers savings accounts for people with disabilities, exempt from SSI and Medicaid asset limits.

This October marks the 31st anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM is a nationwide movement sponsored by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, which seeks to raise awareness of the needs of workers with disabilities and to highlight their many contributions to the economy. This year’s theme is "The Right Talent, Right Now."

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At Search, we know without a doubt that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities truly are “the right talent.”  Over the past five years, Search has built a robust Career Services program that includes paid, train-to-work opportunities and job development and placement services to support competitive employment in the community. 

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Beyond these direct services, last year we conducted original research, based on our experience at the Planet Access Company (PAC) Warehouse, to help “make the business case” for the employment of people with disabilities. Our research demonstrates that people with disabilities are making important contributions to the workforce and outperforming their co-workers in select areas of operation.

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Thank you to Illinois Treasurer Frerichs and his team for a great visit!

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