FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Design & Communications
Laura Lane McKinnon
Director for Organizational Advancement
Governor Brian Kemp Tours EmployAbility
SAVANNAH, GA – June 18, 2019 – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Judy Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), visited EmployAbility Tuesday, June 18, 2019, to tour its facilities and meet its program participants. Kemp was invited to tour EmployAbility while he was in the region touring several local businesses. This was the Governor’s first visit to EmployAbility since being elected in early 2019.
Gov. Kemp and Commissioner Fitzgerald were greeted by more than 100 excited EmployAbility program participants. Joined by Senator Ben Watson, Representative Bill Hutchins, and several local business leaders, they toured each of EmployAbility’s training programs, getting to see firsthand the value of EmployAbility’s training programs as well as the remarkable skills of its program participants, before meeting with members of the EmployAbility Board and senior leadership for a presentation about the organization, the benefits of employment and community integration for adults with developmental disabilities, and the impact that EmployAbility has on the three counties (Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan) it serves.
“[EmployAbility] is really an outstanding community-based organization that provides hope and training and learning opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who might need special supports and services in order to learn the skills and begin training, and then take those skills out into the community to work with an employer.” Commissioner Judy Fitzgerald, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD)
EmployAbility supports 238 individuals through its Supported Employment program, working for approximately 140 employers throughout Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan Counties. The average wage for these workers is $9.21/hr. According to the U. S. Department of Labor, employers who have embraced disability as a component of their talent strategy report a 72% increase in overall employee productivity and a 38% savings in workers’ compensation or other insurance costs.
“[EmployAbility] is a great option for employers and when you have companies like Leopold’s Ice Cream and Gulfstream, people in the Savannah area know who those people are, and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for everybody else.” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp
EmployAbility is a non-profit organization which works to prepare adults with developmental disabilities for employment and community integration. We envision a community where people with disabilities are more broadly valued, hired by employers, receiving support, and participating in ordinary activities. EmployAbility relies on the generosity of the people of Savannah as donors and volunteers to fulfill its commitment to empower adults with developmental disabilities to live full, meaningful lives.