Central New Mexico-based Not-for-Profit Receives Prestigious Honor and has the Opportunity to Showcase LifeROOTS at NISH Annual Conference

Central New Mexico-based Not-for-Profit Receives Prestigious Honor and has the Opportunity to Showcase LifeROOTS at NISH Annual Conference

LifeROOTS — the central New Mexico-based not-for-profit organization that provides the community with a broad range of programs and services for children and adults with developmental, physical and behavioral disabilities — has received national recognition from one of the most prestigious and well-known organizations serving the needs of the disabled. The award was presented to LifeROOTS by NISH – the national nonprofit agency whose mission is to create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities – and was presented to LifeROOTS at a special awards ceremony held at the NISH National Training and Achievement Conference held from May 21- May 24 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

At the conference, LifeROOTS was honored by NISH with the “2011 AbilityOne/NISH Performance Excellence in Using the AbilityOne Program to Further Its Mission” award. This award was given in recognition of LifeROOTS achieving “extraordinary success in using the AbilityOne Program to further its mission by partnering with some of the most established organizations in the Albuquerque, NM region and creating many new and fulfilling jobs for those with disabilities.” The award was presented to Kathleen Cates, CEO of LifeROOTS and David Griffis, LifeROOTS’ Director of Contracts, at an Awards Banquet on May 24 – honoring those organizations and individuals making significant contributions to helping to enhance the lives of the disabled.

The NISH conference brought together more than 1,000 individuals devoted to creating employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities – providing an opportunity to recognize and be inspired by personal stories of success. The NISH National Training and Achievement Conference Awards Banquet honored and celebrated the work of those “highly successful individuals, nonprofit agencies, government agencies and businesses” through the presentation of a number of different awards in various categories – and told the “stories” of each winner to highlight how they have made tremendous strides in helping those with disabilities in the workplace.

“We were thrilled to have been honored with this award in recognition of our commitment to helping people with disabilities through the AbilityOne program and our dedication to its mission,” said Kathleen Cates, CEO of LifeROOTS.   “Through our AbilityOne contracts, we are able to help adults with disabilities reach their potential by giving them the opportunity to be contributing members of the local workforce – enhancing their lives, and their self-esteem, and allowing them to achieve their highest level of self-sufficiency.”

As an AbilityOne contractor, LifeROOTS has been able to further their mission by being able to partner with some of New Mexico’s most established organizations in order to provide people with disabilities with the opportunity to work in fulfilling, meaningful jobs within the community. The organization’s AbilityOne Contracts include Kirtland Air Force Base, the Pete V. Domenici Federal Courthouse and the National Assessment Group.

The AbilityOne Program is the largest single source of employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the United States. With more than 600 participating community-based nonprofit organizations as their strategic partners nationwide, NISH and the AbilityOne Program provide employment opportunities to more than 50,000 people with disabilities.

Unfortunately, according to NISH, people with disabilities are still a vast untapped resource — with an unemployment rate estimated at more than 70 percent. Both NISH — and LifeROOTS — are working to “address the staggering statistic of the tens of millions of people with disabilities without jobs” – and continue to work to help the disabled become productive members of the workforce through meaningful jobs within their communities.

For more information about the AbilityOne/NISH National Training and Achievement Conference visit http://www.nishconf.org/ . A complete list of this year’s national award winners is available at: https://www.nish.org/NISH/Doc/0/U1NHHV99VT4KD0J1HB73LJB78B/Award%20Page%20for%20Web%20proof%208.pdf; in addition, to watch a video of the Awards Ceremony, you can visit http://vimeo.com/42783617. For additional information about LifeROOTS and the organization’s work in helping those with disabilities secure jobs in the community, visit www.liferootsnm.org or call 505-255-5501.

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