The Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities presented West Alabama Works with the Public Service Award for West Alabama at the Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services (ADRS) Awards Ceremony Oct. 17.  The award honors an organization that helps individuals with disabilities find work.

“It is imperative to ensure that individuals with disabilities have a pathway to successful employment, giving them empowerment and independence,” said West Alabama Works Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama Donny Jones.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  While the unemployment rate in West Alabama is 2.5 percent, the national unemployment for individuals with disabilities is 8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

West Alabama Works partners with the Tuscaloosa Area Career Center and ADRS to assist companies in need of employees and/or training by helping them apply for funding opportunities. These opportunities, offered through ADRS, include training programs related to disability issues in the workplace and pre-hire and post-hire wage coverage for individuals with disabilities.

“These programs are a win-win, as they help people with disabilities find meaningful careers and companies fill unemployment gaps,” Jones said.

Phifer Incorporated and ZF Chassis Systems, LLC, both West Alabama Works leaders and stakeholders, were honored with the Collaboration Award from the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Both Phifer and ZF, along with LifeLink, LLC, have been instrumental in the development of the Prisoner
Re-entry Program (PREP). Learn more about the program here.

For more information on funding and training opportunities with ADRS, visit