NYS Senator Gianaris Joins Goodwill NYNJ to Recognize 60+ Individuals with Autism in Event to Mark Autism Awareness Month

April 19, 2018

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NEW YORK, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NY State Senator Michael Gianaris (D-12) joined Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern NJ, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) to celebrate the talents and career accomplishments of more than 60 individuals with autism who have secured competitive employment. The nonprofit’s 5th Annual Autism Awareness Event marked April, National Autism Awareness Month and recognized the employers and community members who support its program participants in achieving their employment and life goals.

The event featured remarks from Senator Gianaris; David Aglialoro, District Director for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan(D-37); and Niki Kokkinos, District Director for NYC Council member Constantinides(D-22).

Senator Michael Gianaris urged employers to think different, “I am glad to join Goodwill NYNJ to  celebrate April, Autism Awareness month and to recognize outstanding individuals with Autism who have reached their employment goals.”

“At Goodwill NYNJ, we aim to eliminate false obstacles to employment for people with disabilities. We are giving a chance and helping employers to integrate their workforce to mirror their customer base and to increase their bottom line,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ CEO & President.

According to a report from Drexel University’s Autism Institute, there are more than 3.5 million Americans with Autism and 85% of college grads with autism are unemployed. Only 14 percent of adults with autism hold paid jobs in their community. Job-seekers with disabilities continue to struggle to find work. More than 80% are unemployed, according to the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. DOL.

View a video of individuals with autism who are now working or participating in paid internships at Goodwill NYNJ:  https://youtu.be/-M1zvxGipeI 

About Goodwill NYNJ
Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which operates 39 retail stores throughout the region powered by donations of clothing and household items. Goodwill translates those donations into workforce development services for the unemployed and people with disabilities. For over 100 years, our mission has been to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. Annually, Goodwill NYNJ provides services to thousands of Greater New York City metropolitan area residents  – in workforce, disability services and retail training leading to employment to build better lives for themselves and their families. Learn more about Goodwill NYNJ at http://www.goodwillnynj.org  and follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillNYNJ, and find us on Facebook or Instagram: GoodwillNYNJ.

Contact: Jose Medellin | jmedellin@goodwillnynj.org | 646-238-9133

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