The City of Birmingham is partnering with United Ability to provide employment opportunities for individuals living with disabilities. Through the engagement, participants in United Ability’s LINCPoint Adult Program have been assigned to the city’s Department of Public Works greenhouse to become part of a working community, develop skills, earn income and improve quality of life.
“We are very pleased to have these partners from United Ability working alongside DPW staff. This engagement goes to the heart of the city’s commitment to providing an inclusive economy for all in our city,” Mayor Randall L. Woodfin said. “I encourage other employers to consider this opportunity to grow our workforce and create new opportunities for partners such as United Ability.”
“We are honored to be a part of Mayor Woodfin’s initiative to build an inclusive workforce in Birmingham,” said Susan Sellers, CEO, United Ability. “United Ability is committed to integrating individuals with disabilities into their communities so they can have full and meaningful lives,” Sellers added. “This partnership with the city provides our participants with a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the community while also performing an important role for the city.”
United Ability’s LINCPoint Adult Program serves adults age 21 and over with a diagnosis of physical or developmental disability. The program offers employment for small workgroups to provide services and training activities in regular business, industry and community settings. Trainees are integrated into the workplace where they can learn valuable work skills. The outcome of this service is sustained paid employment and work experience leading to further career development and community-based individual employment.
“This learning and earning partnership reflects Mayor Woodfin’s theme of putting people first by creating a diverse work environment for the United Ability partners and City of Birmingham employees,” said Jill Madajczyk, Chief Human Resource Officer for the city’s Department of Human Resources. “A diverse work force is key for Birmingham’s future. Creating such opportunities within the City of Birmingham’s workforce inspires creativity, supports innovation, and enhances strategic thinking, all while continuing to move Birmingham forward on a cultural and belonging path.”
The 13 initial participants in the partnership have completed orientation with the city and are assisting with potting, cleaning workspaces at the greenhouse and learning the various responsibilities of the horticulture division of DPW.
The greenhouse is the central hub for the city’s horticulture division, growing nearly all of the plants used throughout the city. Staff at the greenhouse grow up to 80,000 plants from seed twice a year for landscaping within the city.