Inside INdiana Business

Foundation renews support for GFW disability initiative

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Fort Wayne-based AWS Foundation has announced three more years of support for Greater Fort Wayne Inc’s disability inclusion work with a new grant that has prompted a name change: the GFW Inc Disabilities Initiative. GFW says the services began in 2018 as an employee program, but has since expanded to deal with workplace accessibility, leadership training and quality of life.

“GFW Inc. continues to bridge the knowledge gap connecting businesses that are hiring and people with a disability seeking employment and recognition as future leaders in our community. AWS Foundation is pleased to continue to provide funding for this important initiative that supports both individuals with disabilities and area employers,” said AWS Foundation Chief Executive Officer Patti Hays.

GFW Inc. says the initiative will focus on certain components:

  • Providing local business leaders the knowledge and resources they need to hire and successfully employ individuals with disabilities.
  • Offering assessments and insights that help businesses and other organizations create policies, programs, sites, and facilities that improve accessibility for employees and patrons of all abilities.
  • Developing leaders of all abilities by reserving two scholarships in the Leadership Fort Wayne program for individuals with disabilities.
  • Intentionally structuring the Onboard Fort Wayne program to help newly relocated professionals of all abilities (and their families) feel welcomed to Allen County and get connected to local service providers and resources.
  • Specifically building pathways to careers in the skilled trades for students with disabilities via the MadeByMe program.

“If we’re going to build a nationally recognized economy in Allen County, we must grow opportunities for everyone,” said John Urbahns, president and chief executive officer of GFW Inc. “We’ve woven inclusion into everything we do as an organization, and it’s inspiring to see so many in the business community partner with us to do the same. We’re thankful to AWS Foundation for their continued support and leadership.”

Click here to learn more about the initiative. 

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