Safeway Foundation Awards Melwood $9,000 Grant for Disability & Veterans Workforce Initiatives
September 28, 2021
The funding will be used to support Melwood’s Professional Development Training program
UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Melwood, a leading national employer and advocate for people with disabilities and injured veterans, has been awarded a $9,000 grant from Safeway Foundation which funds groups and organizations dedicated to bettering local neighborhoods and communities. The grant will be used to support skill-building activities for participants in Melwood’s Professional Development Training program.
As part of Melwood’s ongoing commitment to workforce integration and inclusion, this program is designed to help people with disabilities gain skills to enter or re-enter the workforce in the career path of their choice. Melwood takes a holistic approach to support successful transition to the work environment, with a focus on several core skill areas including independent living, employment, self-determination and interpersonal relationships. The curriculum includes special guest speakers, weekly opportunities to engage in community integration, experiential learning, career exploration, and volunteer experiences in a variety of career cluster areas.
Safeway Foundation’s grant will support activities and practical pre-work experiences for approximately 25 transitioning youth (ages 14-24) across three counties in Maryland. It will be used to offset costs associated with several professional development activities, including the following:
- Six weeks of pre-employment, work-based learning experiences
- Ongoing participation in job tour and mock interviews
- Two weeks of job shadowing experiences, including assessment and training
“Melwood is grateful for the generous contribution and support from Safeway Foundation,” says Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood. “Historically, people with disabilities have been overlooked, despite bringing incredible smarts, skills, experiences and value to our workplaces and businesses. A more inclusive, integrated workforce that leverages this talent is vital to bettering our communities. We’re truly thankful for Safeway Foundation’s partnership and investment in advancing practical programs to achieve that goal.”
“We’re pleased to support Melwood’s Professional Development Training Program,” adds Jim Perkins, President of Safeway Mid-Atlantic Division. “Melwood is making real inroads to break down barriers and redefine what a vibrant, diverse workforce that is inclusive of all abilities, backgrounds, and experience looks like. We are proud to support the 25 youth taking part in the program this year.”
Melwood’s evidence-based career development programs focus on helping participants gain hard and soft vocational skills needed to secure and retain employment. Services include professional development training, job placement assistance, job coaching, and other forms of vocational and retention support for adults and transitioning youth. For more information on Melwood’s workforce development initiatives, please visit www.melwood.org.
About Safeway and Safeway Foundation
Safeway in the Mid-Atlantic Division is part of Albertsons Companies (NYSE: ACI). Locally great and nationally strong, Albertsons Cos. is a leading food and drug retailer in the United States. The Mid-Atlantic Division operates Safeway stores in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Delaware. Safeway is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. During 2020, Safeway and Safeway Foundation locally donated more than $5.1 million in food and financial support to help people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities, and veterans. For more information, visit www.safeway.com.
Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. 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 www.Melwood.org.
Vice President of Government Relations