Recognizing “The Right Talent, Right Now” in October

Throughout the month of October, Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia is honoring the contributions of workers with disabilities by celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

Each and every day, Goodwill mission services are offered in 44 cities and counties for anyone looking for a new job or a better career. Among the more than 6,686 people served by Goodwill last year, there were nearly 502 workers with disabilities who looked to Goodwill for help.

NDEAM dates back to 1945, when Congress designated the first week in October to recognize people with disabilities and their potential.

This year’s theme for NDEAM, “The Right Talent, Right Now,” emphasizes the benefits of welcoming the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, to the workplace. At a time when unemployment is low, companies and organizations have a critical need for skilled and reliable workers of all backgrounds.

“We know that work can be a powerful source of pride, identity and self-sufficiency,” said Charles Layman, president and CEO. “Goodwill not only celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities, we also want to bring awareness to issues they face in gaining meaningful employment. By doing so, we help build stronger families and make central and coastal Virginia a more vibrant community with a stronger economy.”

One of those individuals with the right talent is Randy, one of the longest-serving retail associates at Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, with 25 years working as part of a group supported employment program – one of Goodwill’s hallmark vocational programs.

Randy’s journey to workplace success started in Goodwill’s School-To-Work program when he attended Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk. The pre-vocational program is a career pathway model for students receiving special education and combines skills-building with real-world, on-the-job training and wage earning. When he graduated, Randy transitioned into a Supported Employment program and a permanent employment position as a textile hanger at Goodwill’s Lynnhaven retail store in Virginia Beach.

“Every day, individuals with disabilities add significant value and talent to our workforce and economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Individuals with disabilities offer employers diverse perspectives on how to tackle challenges and achieve success. Individuals with disabilities have the right talent, right now.”

To find out more about the job, skills and career services available visit