Real Jobs. Real Wages. Full Lives.

Alison McCormick, Director; originally published in The Even Keel newsletter

As an employment professional, I like to think about jobs...

  • Why is having a job important?
  • Why do most people want to work?
  • How does our work define who we are?

Obviously, we work to earn a paycheck, so we can afford a place to live and to pay our bills. For some, having a job means you have more freedom to do what you want. Having a job gives one a sense of purpose and strengthens personal identity.

Work is how we contribute to ‘the greater good’ in society. A job helps us to feel part of the team. Our earnings help the economy, so we feel valued by society. We contribute to our own communities. Having a job means a chance to gain new skills, a chance to learn and grow. The work place offers us opportunities to be social, meet people from diverse backgrounds and even a have the chance to make friends.

On the other hand, did you know that over 80% of people with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed? Unacceptable! Being an unemployed person with a disability means living ‘in the margins’, never feeling included, being a “user” of services or believing you don’t make a difference.

Most of us know the sense of pride one feels when offered a job. As employment professionals, we are honored to see this gift in action! We want to share this tremendous feeling with YOU. You are our true partner in making jobs happen for people with disabilities. Your contributions really do help change lives in amazing ways. Helping one person get a job impacts the job seeker, their family, their employer and our local community…a ripple effect.

In 2017, individual donations from people just like you made it possible for Mainstay to expand our services on the Eastside. Those donations helped us to hire a new Employment Specialist position for the first time in over 11 years! We were able to take 32 job seekers off of our waiting lists who were in job readiness and preparation mode. Mainstay and SAILS served over 137 individuals with disabilities in 2017. Twenty-one job seekers “scored” new jobs, with five more people interviewing at the end of the year and two job offers in early December!

We are grateful of the impact YOU have on the lives of people with disabilities. We are reminded of our mission that your support brings to reality…REAL JOBS. REAL WAGES. FULL LIVES.