kessler-grantKessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ, has announced the newest recipients of its grants, which are designed to advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Foundation notes that a total of $2.17 million in grants will fund major programs in three states, as well as community initiatives primarily in the New Jersey area.

More than 1.3 million in Signature Employment Grants was reportedly awarded to programs in Maryland, Missouri, and Washington, DC. The Foundation adds that three pilot projects funded by the grants are slated to create employment models with OfficeMax and the Credit Union Association of New York. The funding will also aid in launching Destination Desserts, a social enterprise intended to train and employ individuals with disabilities.

The Foundation reports that 20 of its Community Employment Grants will fund education, training, and placement programs for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. The grants are intended to support businesses that primarily employ individuals with disabilities and career development for students and adults with disabilities. In a recent news release, the Foundation says it has awarded 12 Special Initiative Grants. The grants are invitation-only and aim to support grass roots initiatives in the arts, sports, film, and education for individuals with disabilities.

“I’m proud of the diversity of the funded programs as well as the potential of these new collaborations,” Rodger DeRose, president, CEO, Kessler Foundation, says of the grants. “The impact of our grant funding is clear; when talented individuals with disabilities join the workforce, society sees their abilities instead of their disabilities,” DeRose says.

DeRose also emphasizes the role that Elaine Katz, vice president of grants and special initiatives, Kessler Foundation, has played in increasing employment opportunities for individuals based in New Jersey and nationwide.

“With her input and expertise, successful employment and business models continue to be developed, which are often replicated across the country,” DeRose adds.

Source: Kessler Foundation