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SourceAmerica Celebrates 50 Years of Empowering Individuals with Disabilities Through Employment Opportunities

Press Release


SourceAmerica®, an AbilityOne® authorized enterprise that creates employment opportunities for people with disabilities, today marks its 50th anniversary of empowering individuals with disabilities through employment opportunities and the collective policy advancements and partnerships forged in that shared effort.

"SourceAmerica has played a vital role over the past five decades in helping employ America's most underutilized workforce, people with disabilities, and we are committed to continuing our work to create meaningful, well-paying jobs through our national network of AbilityOne providers," said Richard Belden, president and CEO of SourceAmerica. "We celebrate this milestone while looking forward to the day when there is a level playing field where anyone with a disability who wants to work has the opportunity to do so."

Turning the vision of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act into reality, which ensures individuals with disabilities and people who are blind have access to employment through federal contracting opportunities, SourceAmerica continues to facilitate the delivery of a wide range of products and services to federal customers.


Since 1974, SourceAmerica has connected nearly 400,000 individuals with disabilities to meaningful employment, including thousands of veterans with disabilities in every branch of the U.S. military. Now, more than 575 nonprofits employing nearly 59,000 people with disabilities are part of the SourceAmerica network. Nearly 350 of those nonprofits annually employ over 33,000 people with disabilities including 2,400 veterans with disabilities on AbilityOne contracts, earning over $1 billion in wages and benefits.


"My brother was born in 1959 with a significant disability and his opportunities for employment were extremely limited," said Mark Lezotte, SourceAmerica's board chair. "We have come a long way in the last 50 years to expand those horizons, but we still have much more work to do to raise awareness of the incredible talents and capabilities people with disabilities bring to the workforce and the positive impact a more inclusive labor force has on our economy."


Despite the benefits of employment, nearly 63% of working-age people with disabilities in the U.S. do not have jobs. Gainful employment provides adults with disabilities the chance to support themselves and their families financially, build connections with workplace colleagues and contribute to their communities while generating federal tax revenue and lessening the strain on government assistance programs.


To learn more about SourceAmerica, its 50 years of making a difference and its commitment to a disability-inclusive workforce, visit SourceAmerica.org/50stories.


About SourceAmerica

SourceAmerica connects government customers and other organizations to a national network of AbilityOne authorized providers that hire a talented segment of the workforce—people with disabilities. Established in 1974, SourceAmerica is committed to increasing economic and social inclusion and advocating for a more accessible future of work for people with disabilities. SourceAmerica, an AbilityOne authorized enterprise, harnesses the momentum and boosts the capability of its network and customers as a leading job connector for the disability community. To learn more, visit SourceAmerica.org and follow @SourceAmerica on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


This press release was issued June 26, 2024. SourceAmerica is a SPESA member.


SPESA members are encouraged to email news and releases to marie@spesa.org or maggie@spesa.org to be featured under Member Spotlights.

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