10.26.2018|Inside Verizon

Partnering with purpose, to support those with disabilities.

By: Jill Behunin

National Disability Employment Awareness Month reminds us to value people for their abilities. Our partnership with Employment Horizons shows how.

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See how our partnership with Employment Horizons creates jobs for people with disabilities and benefits our business.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month to raise awareness about disability employment issues, and foster a more inclusive workforce where every person is recognized for their abilities.

U.S. Department of Labor statistics show that in 2017, 29% of people ages 16–64 with a disability were employed, compared to 73% of those without a disability. Employment Horizons is working to change that, and we’re partnering with them to make it happen.

Doing good, and good for business.

Employment Horizons’ mission is to serve people with disabilities to help them achieve their employment goals. Discussing the low employment rate for workers with disabilities, Matthew Putts of Employment Horizons explains, “It’s not from a lack of wanting to work. It’s because employers don’t give individuals with disabilities a chance.”

Through our recently formed partnership, we’re creating about 25 jobs at Employment Horizons for workers to test and refurbish used Fios premise equipment for reuse in our network. It’s a winning deal that’s good for the business, good for our planet, and good for the community.

  • It supports our commitment to diversity and inclusion through our supply chain. Employment Horizons provides a dedicated force of people with disabilities who are looking for work. We provide them with meaningful employment.
  • It’s good for the bottom line, and our planet. We ship 26 pallets of Fios equipment monthly to Employment Horizons, where it’s sorted, tested and refurbished. We reuse these materials in our network for a substantial savings, as well as reduce our environmental impact because previously the materials were discarded.
  • It shines a light on the power of volunteerism and shares our success with the community. As a non-profit, Employment Horizons relies on volunteers to support their mission. There are a number of ways V Teamers can help such as working directly with program participants or providing assistance with fundraising events. Fill out this form to learn more.

Michael Flanagan, a member of our Organization Effectiveness team, was instrumental in making this partnership happen. He shared, “The work and support that we provide to Employment Horizons is demonstrative of a great company which gives back to the communities we serve. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the work, people want to have meaning and purpose and know that they are working for a company that does good things in the community. This is an excellent example of that.”


Join DIAL to do more.

“One of our foremost objectives as an organization is to create a collaborative, inclusive and diverse environment — within Verizon, with our customers, and among our business partners and suppliers.”

— 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

One important way we do that is through DIAL (Disabilities Issues Awareness Leaders), a Verizon employee resource group, which focuses on creating inclusive experiences for our teammates, customers and communities. Open to all employees, DIAL provides opportunities for V Teamers to support this initiative and be part of what makes us us.

V Teamers, click here to return to VZWeb

About the author(s):

Jill Behunin is a member of the Verizon HR Communications team. She's a mom, outdoor enthusiast, world-explorer wannabe, and she loves sharing employee stories.

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