UPS taking steps to attract a more diverse workforce
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- UPS Worldport in Louisville is looking to hire more people with disabilities.
The company and the state of Kentucky are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to make that happen, hoping for a big return.
Nine thousand workers help move 1.6 million packages through UPS's Worldport hub every day.
One of those workers is Howard Danzy, a part-time package handler.
"What I do is unload cans," says Danzy.
He is one of 50 workers with a disability. But that has not stopped him from being a good and dependable worker.
"I like my job a lot because it's physical, there is a lot of movement and I like that," adds Danzy.
UPS wants to more than double the number of workers like Danzy.
So with a $100,000 grant from the state, UPS is spending $200,000 of its own money to build what the company is calling a Diversity Coalition Training Area.
It will allow individuals with disabilities to learn the proper skills to become employees.
"The simulated training provides for the opportunity to experience a real world, fast paced, environment," says Danny Torian, UPS Human Resources Division Manager.
James Emmett, a national advocate on behalf of the disabled, was in Louisville for Wednesday's announcement by UPS.
"For a long time it has been about just getting a job and potentially being underemployed for people with disabilities," says Emmett, "now we are looking at opportunities for people with disabilities to have the careers to flourish and to grow."
Wednesday's public announcement of the new training area comes just two days before the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities."
Emmett was asked why it has taken 24 years to come to a day like today when a major employer is taking such steps.
"It takes time to change attitudes," says Emmett, "I think it takes leadership from companies like Walgreens and UPS to be able to show all across the nation that people with disabilities are incredible good employees, it is only about return on investment, not charity."
The training center is scheduled to be up and running by September, just in time to prepare for the end of the year holiday rush.