by Aaron Martin
For more than 10 years in a row, Job One has been honored to attend SourceAmerica’s Grassroots Advocacy Conference with more than 50 nonprofit agencies across the nation. The purpose? To highlight the impact of public policy on employment for people with disabilities.
This year’s theme was “Power of Inclusion Every Job. Every Story. Everyone.” And with one of our very own employees delivering a speech at this year’s event, it was incredibly impactful to see how the simple choice of work can positively impact someone’s life.
SourceAmerica stems from the Federal AbilityOne Program, which provides employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. In 1974, SourceAmerica was established to facilitate the program by connecting Federal procurement customers with 450 nonprofits, like Job One, across the nation that supply products and services. SourceAmerica provides support for contract management, training, regulatory assistance, workforce development and much more for these nonprofits that serve individuals with disabilities.
The Grassroots Advocacy Conference
SourceAmerica orchestrates this conference annually to present individuals with disabilities, family members, advocates, and nonprofit executives the opportunity have their voices heard by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The Conference Impact
Educating key members of Congress on the critical issues impacting the lives of individuals with disabilities is vital as they pass legislation that has serious life-altering consequences for this population. Job One employee, Craig, who attended the conference and gave a speech is a prime example of how the advances in providing employment opportunities for adults with disabilities changed life for the better.
Job One at SourceAmerica
Representing Job One at the conference this year was long-time employee Craig, who is part of our AbilityOne program. He currently works as a mail clerk GSA. The biggest highlight of the 3-day conference for Craig was delivering his speech on the importance of being able to work and having job choices.
Haley Thomason, Employee Services Coordinator from Job One, also attended the conference and said, “The Source America Grassroot Advocacy Conference was a great experience. There were so many advocates that have worked within the AbilityOne program for 20+ years. It was great to hear everyone tell their story and why it is important to them to have a job. Their job is their life to many of these advocates. If they didn’t have their job, they would not have a connection to their community.”