New program creates 500 jobs for individuals with differing abilities

The Governor’s Office, The Precisionist, Inc. (TPI), Salt River Project, the Greater Phoenix Chamber, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), and First Place AZ have collaborated to help adults with autism and other differing abilities get employment in Arizona.

“Arizona is a place where opportunity for all means just that,” Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) said. “With this announcement from Precisionist, Arizona is helping fulfill our commitment to empower all Arizonans with meaningful opportunities to work. Thank you to all of our community partners and stakeholders who are working with Arizona to make this initiative a success and joining with us to make Arizona an Employment First state.”

Over the last 22 months First Place AZ, a nonprofit Phoenix real estate and community developer, recruited TPI, a Delaware-based company that creates jobs for individuals across a broad range of disabilities, to help bring employment opportunities to those with autism and other differing abilities.

“For many, it means the world,” Denise Resnik, CEO/founder of First Place AZ said. “It’s the opportunity to create community and to have others appreciate the contributions and talents and the value that these citizens have and to embrace them.”

Through their collaborative Phoenix Precision Project, Arizona businesses can hire those who have completed TPI training across a broad range of fields such as software development, database analytics, accounting, data energy, and more.

TPI will also be furthering its investment in the Valley with a new Innovation and Technology Center (ITC), scheduled to open in the first half of 2019.

“Phoenix has been an incredibly welcoming community to TPI, and I am very excited to be making this commitment,” TPI CEO Ernest J. Dianastasis said.

According to Resnik, this year their goal is to enlist ten organizations to work with TPI.

So far, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Salt River Project (SRP), and Mobile Mini are participating in the project, hoping to add diversity to their workplace.

“Our partnership with TPI is one-way SRP is achieving a diverse team to build a better company and be a stronger community partner,” Mike Hummel, SRP General Manager and CEO said.

“At Mobile Mini, we are committed to our core values, one of which is ‘People Make it Happen.’ We firmly believe that both a diverse workforce and an inclusive environment produce the best results. We are excited to be partnering on this project and look forward to welcoming our newest faces,” Mark Krivoruchka, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Mobile Mini said.

“Employment brings with it a sense of fulfillment and independence, and the State of Arizona is committed to ensuring all individuals are able to reach their potential,” Michael Trailor, director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, said. “This project exemplifies the opportunities DES provides to individuals with disabilities within our communities, and we are thrilled to partner with The Precisionists and First Place AZ to fulfill our shared objectives.”

Resnik said the Phoenix Precision Project will not only bring an economic benefit but will give individuals the ability to learn new skills and find their purpose.

“What it means is choice,” she said. “It’s allowing people to develop and use their skills to get ready in the morning because they have a purpose, to learn how to navigate public transportation, to appreciate what it means to get a paycheck, and how to use those dollars responsibly. It means being able to go out on a date or have some fun on the weekend because you have some discretionary spending money. To develop those skills and use them to truly enhance their lives.”

According to the TPI, the Phoenix Precision Project is expected to create more than 500 Arizona jobs for adults with differing abilities within the next three to five years.

This partnership is part of TPI’s goal to employ 10,000 people with disabilities by 2025.

Emily Richardson

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