The Arc San Francisco WorkLife Awards Recognize Employees with Developmental Disabilities and Employer Champions

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Virtual “Rise Up and Celebrate” event to highlight workforce

The Arc San Francisco today announced the recipients of the agency’s prestigious 2020 WorkLife Awards celebrating the work and life achievements of people with developmental disabilities and the employers who champion their success and benefit from their diverse skills and experience.

A virtual event highlighting awardees will take place August 20, 2020 online. The theme is “Rise Up and Celebrate” which highlights the struggle for disability inclusion in the workplace, and the achievements of Arc program participants who benefit from a range of opportunities made possible by the agency’s partnerships with area businesses, from internships and training programs to competitive careers. 130 different corporations and partners are supporting the awards event.

Employer of the Year: California Academy of Science is recognized for its commitment to inclusion through interning and hiring staff that reflect the diversity of the community they serve. In the past 10 years, the museum has graduated 37 interns and hired 12 employees from The Arc, building awareness and changing culture through their investment in people with disabilities.

New Employer of the Year: Gusto Online payroll and HR company Gusto is recognized as a trailblazer in advancing the success of neurodiverse employees in technology and data management, demonstrating how the strengths of employees with disabilities can be a key asset in the workplace.

Amplifier: Twitter The social media giant is recognized for the company’s early and ongoing commitment to hiring employees with disabilities and advancing digital equity through access to technology, education and training at its Neighborhood Nest center.

Inclusion Champions: Ann Lindstrom, Amazon and Jesus Hernandez, Facebook are recognized for championing diversity in the workforce and fostering the growth and development of people with developmental disabilities through a culture of allyship and inclusion.

The awards also recognize clients in these categories, based on ballot responses from co-workers:

  • Employee of the Year: George Reyes, Survata
  • New Employee of the Year: Alaina Schlier, California Academy of Sciences
  • Intern of the Year: Eric Yu, SF Public Utilities Commission Neurodiversity Internship at Arcadis

“The opportunity to work is the single most important factor in achieving personal independence for people with developmental disabilities,” said Kristen Pedersen, Interim Executive Director, The Arc San Francisco. “I congratulate the businesses who are receiving The Arc’s WorkLife awards for their successful record of diversity and inclusion. These outstanding companies are helping the individuals we serve reach their full potential as they become working taxpayers and fully contributing adults who are vital members of our community. As we navigate this time of change and uncertainty, I’m proud to stand with our employer partners and their employees as we look ahead to ensure the advances we’ve made continue to create a more just and equitable future for everyone.”

2020 EVENT SPONSORS: AT&T, California Academy of Sciences, Cal Nonprofits Insurance, Deloitte, Echo Technology Solutions, Eleven Inc., Emergence Capital, Ernst & Young, Fenwick & West, GKV Capital, Hanson Bridgett, Intuit, Kaiser Permanente, Lockton Companies, Marin Software, Morrison Foerster, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, PwC, Safeway Foundation, Salesforce, San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco Toyota, Survata, Twitter, Union Bank, Venables Bell & Partners, Zendesk.

About The Arc San Francisco

The Arc San Francisco is a lifelong learning and achievement center for over 300 individuals with developmental disabilities in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties, California. Now in its 70th year, The Arc SF has been widely recognized for innovation in education and career programs as well as independent living services, health advocacy, and a broad range of arts and recreation opportunities. The Arc supports individuals with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities to meet the challenges of adulthood while achieving personal goals and lifelong success. Our affiliations with over 130 business, education, and health partners help us to provide successful internships and employment opportunities while offering a more diverse, enriching life experience.

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The mission of The Arc San Francisco is to transform the lives of adults with developmental disabilities by advancing lifelong learning, personal achievement and independence.

The Arc San Francisco Workforce Development Programs
The Arc San Francisco provides specialized employment services that support the success of individuals with developmental disabilities in today’s competitive job market. The Arc’s experienced team matches qualified, motivated job candidates to part- and full-time positions in office and facility services, tech support, data entry, customer service, education, hospitality, and retail, ensuring success through ongoing job coaching and skills development.

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