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DiverseAbility LLC Partners with Leading Michigan Companies

To Celebrate Disability Mentoring Day

Contact: Kathy McCreedy, DiverseAbility LLC (989-631-8867)

MIDLAND, MI. – DiverseAbility LLC is partnering with leading Michigan-based companies, including General Motors (Detroit), Ford Motor Company (Dearborn), The Dow Chemical Company (Midland), Dow Automotive, a business unit of Dow Chemical (Auburn Hills), and Detroit Medical Center, to provide mentoring opportunities for students and job-seekers with disabilities. These activities were part of the sixth annual Disability Mentoring Day, celebrated on Oct. 20, 2004.

Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). In 2003, more than 6,000 students in all 50 states participated in DMD activities focused on preparing the students for meaningful work careers.

“Unemployment and under-employment of college graduates with disabilities are still significant,” according to Kathy McCreedy, who founded DiverseAbility to support the integration of people with disabilities into corporate diversity efforts and to increase the career opportunities for college graduates with disabilities. “These Michigan companies are creating mentoring opportunities that can make the difference between having a career and being under or unemployed.”

Participants included graduates in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial management, information systems, finance, and an individual with a MBA. Some participants had multiple mentoring opportunities at several companies, giving them exposure to different jobs and company cultures.

General Motors' participation in Disability Mentoring Day is part of programming introduced in June 2004 to promote career development among people with disabilities. "GM's participation in Disability Mentoring Day will serve to increase the visibility and employment options of people with disabilities," said Karen DeCuir-DiNicola, manager of GM Diversity Initiatives. "As a corporation, we work closely with the GM People with Disabilities Affinity group to create an environment that is open and welcoming to people with disabilities. It's all part of our recognition that diversity must be defined broadly; diversity is much more than race and gender."

Ford Motor Company supports a year-round program that includes career development workshops for college students with disabilities, mock interview workshops, and mentoring opportunities. Rosalind J. Cox, Director, Diversity, Worklife & Peer Review, described Ford’s commitment, “Diversity includes all of the differences that define each of us as unique individuals including those with disabilities. Valuing diversity means creating an environment that respects and leverages the contributions of all individuals, thereby maximizing the potential of everyone. Certainly, our partnership with DiverseAbility has been a key element to our success."

For information about Disability Mentoring Day, visit the AAPD website, www.dmd-aapd.org

For information about DiverseAbility, contact Kathy McCreedy at 989-631-8867 or www.DiverseAbility.com

For information about Ford’s diversity programs, contact Marcey Evans at 313-322-9211 or www.ford.com

For information about diversity programs at General Motors, contact Karen DeCuir-DiNicola at 313-665-3701 or www.gm.com

For information about the program at Dow Automotive, contact Becky Bray at 248-391- 6424 or www.dowautomotive.com

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