Melwood celebrates national disability employment awareness month by challenging employers to explore new workforce solutions

(Stephen Elliot)
(Stephen Elliot)
(Stephen Elliot)
(Stephen Elliot)
(Stephen Elliot)
Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with
Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with (Stephen Elliot)
(Stephen Elliot)
Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with


This content is sponsored by Melwood

Due to historically low rates of unemployment, DC area employers are searching for innovative ways to fill their open positions with quality staff.

Melwood CEO Cari DeSantis has the answer.

“Melwood offers private employers the solution to their labor needs, and I challenge corporations and organizations in the DC area to partner with us so they can learn about the quality and value Melwood teams provide,” says DeSantis. “Melwood has a 55-year history of demonstrating that, with appropriate professional development, people of differing abilities can be successful in the workforce.”

Filling Employment Gaps

According to the Brookings Institution, only four out of 10 people of differing abilities are currently employed despite evidence showing the clear economic -benefits of hiring from this high-quality workforce. People of differing abilities offer companies a professional grade labor force, a boost in consumer market, and improved work culture. Some professional services companies, such as Ernst & Young, have started “neuro-diversity” hiring programs to find these quality candidates.

One of Melwood’s new programs focuses on hiring people on the autism spectrum. Often, people on the autism spectrum have heightened abilities that make them a perfect match for certain analytic or technical jobs. Yet youth with autism are an overlooked pipeline for high-demand jobs like IT and cybersecurity – at a time when the U.S. is on pace to have a half million or more unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021.

Melwood Is a Workforce Solution for High Demand Jobs

Melwood, a nonprofit organization, has a long history of providing workforce solutions by placing employees with government and now with private partner organizations such as Marriott, MGM National Harbor, and CVS Health. Melwood is one of the largest employers of people of differing abilities in the U.S., providing job training, placement and support services to about 2,500 people a year.

As part of its 5-year strategic plan, Melwood is committed to preparing people of differing abilities and injured veterans for today’s workforce and the jobs of tomorrow. They are pioneering new ways to better integrate the unique talents of people of differing abilities within IT, customer care, construction, and hospitality.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Please consider helping Melwood to support those who aim to succeed independently. There is no better way to support this year’s NDEAM’s theme of America’s Workforce: Empowering All.

About Melwood

Melwood is one of the largest employers of people of differing abilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people of differing abilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information visit

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