WEST ORANGE, NJ -- (Marketwire) -- 01/31/13 -- Kessler Foundation awarded $2.17 million in grants to organizations that advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The grants fund major programs in three states, as well as community initiatives primarily in the New Jersey area. Since 2005, the Foundation has distributed more than $27 million for employment projects for individuals with disabilities. The Foundation also awarded grants to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts for people with disabilities.
"We are excited to announce the newest recipients of Kessler Foundation's grants," said Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler Foundation. "I'm proud of the diversity of the funded programs as well as the potential of these new collaborations. The impact of our grant funding is clear; when talented individuals with disabilities join the workplace, society sees their abilities instead of their disabilities."
More than $1.3 million in Signature Employment Grants was awarded to programs in Maryland, Missouri and Washington, D.C. This is the second year that signature grants were available nationally. The three pilot projects funded will create employment models with OfficeMax and the Credit Union Association of New York as well as launch a social enterprise, Destination Desserts, which will train and employ individuals with disabilities.
Twenty Community Employment Grants, totaling $702,670, fund education, training and placement programs for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. These grants support businesses that primarily employ people with disabilities and career development for students and adults with disabilities.
Kessler Foundation also awarded 12 Special Initiative Grants totaling $159,500. These invitation-only grants support grass roots initiatives in the arts, sports, film and education for people with disabilities.
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