AbilityLinks Virtual Job Fair Helps People with Disabilities Create Own Future, Find Employment
Wheaton, IL (October 2011) – Despite suffering a stroke in 1990 at age 14 which left him with paralysis the left side of his body, Michael Cabin has overcome many odds. After intensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation to help strengthen and regain function on his weakened left side, he started high school and shortly thereafter began to focus on his future. “I knew attending college would increase my chances for a successful career, despite my physical limitations,” explains Cabin. “I was determined to not allow my disability to hold me back.”
Cabin attended college, worked hard, and graduated with a degree in business administration and finance and began his career in financial industry. As the economy weakened and although he held two successful positions, Cabin found himself unemployed. “I was diligently looking for work when I saw an article on AbilityLinks in Marianjoy’s newsletter,” confirms Cabin. “I immediately contacted AbilityLinks to post my resume.”
Founded in 2001 by Marianjoy, AbilityLinks has helped hundreds of qualified and talented individuals with disabilities, like Michael, find employment through inclusive employers. The program also provides assistance with resume writing and interviewing skills.
Within days of posting his resume on the award-winning website, an AbilityLinks referral counselor put Cabin in contact with a recruiter from Northern Trust. Michael met the recruiter and went on a formal interview. Within a few weeks, Cabin was hired.
Many qualified individuals utilize AbilityLinks in a similar fashion. The program often hosts virtual job fairs as innovative ways to connect job seekers with inclusive employers. From October 24 – 28, AbilityLinks will be hosting its next virtual job fair, which is accessible 24-hours a day and free to job seekers and employers.
Kathleen Yosko, President and CEO of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital and Co-chair of the AbilityLinks Steering Committee, explains how AbilityLinks has grown in the last ten years. “Marianjoy’s commitment to people with disabilities goes beyond physical rehabilitation and education. AbilityLinks began as an idea; a true grassroots effort. Since 2001, more than 350 highly respected and recognized businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies have joined the AbilityLinks Consortium to support the mission of providing employment opportunities to qualified individuals. Consequently, AbilityLinks has grown into a model for disabled employment awareness across the country. ”
Cabin has now been with Northern Trust for two years and was recently promoted to Securities Technician. “The culture here is wonderful. Everyone treats me with respect and accommodates my physical limitations. As a society, we have come a long way in looking beyond physical limitations. Still, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is very high. For many of us with a disability, we’ve learned to live life differently. We’re able and willing to adapt. We just want a chance to earn a living.”
To learn more about AbilityLinks or the upcoming Virtual Job Fair, visit www.AbilityLinks.org.
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