Diversity/Inclusion

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OfficeMax Joined Forces with Aspire and the Kessler Foundation to Expand Employment Programs for People with Disabilities

New Aspire CareerLink Training Center in Suburban Chicago to Provide Real-World Training for Careers for People with Disabilities

In mid-2013, OfficeMax joined the Kessler Foundation, Aspire of Illinois, the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services in launching Aspire CareerLink, a work training facility in Hillside, Ill. for people with disabilities.

The innovative partnership, facilitated through a two-year grant from Kessler Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities through rehabilitation research and funding disability employment initiatives – utilizes a real-world work environment and specialized curriculum to train people with disabilities for meaningful careers within OfficeMax’s distribution and retail centers.

This program is one of many that has helped OfficeMax create a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that can attract qualified associates of all abilities and backgrounds to create innovative business solutions.

Ongoing Commitment to Diversity OfficeMax’s support for the Aspire CareerLink work training facility is just the latest in OfficeMax’s ongoing commitment to working with veterans and people with disabilities. As part the company’s Maxing Out Diversity project, under the Kessler Foundation grant OfficeMax is working with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and local organizations to create career-training facilities in other markets nationwide, including Las Vegas, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio. OfficeMax was awarded the National Employment Team 2013 “Private Sector Business of the Year” by the CSAVR for its commitment to employing veterans and people with disabilities, including OfficeMax’s PowerMax distribution center in McCalla, Alabama, which has employed more than 35 people with disabilities. Additionally, OfficeMax has partnered with the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation to develop a work training facility for young adults with autism.

Watch the program come alive and meet some of the participating professionals here: http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2014/04/01/aspire-illinois