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Giant Eagle Earns National Honor for Support for Disabled

Giant Eagle has earned a Catalyst award as the Regional Business Employer of the Year by The Arc for its longstanding commitment to hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and supporting them to thrive in a variety of positions throughout the company’s 423 retail locations.

“As a company that is dedicated to creating an inclusive and diverse work environment, we have taken great strides in expanding employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” said Jeremy Shapira, who oversees special projects in inclusion and diversity for the Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle. “We are honored to have this commitment recognized by The Arc, but even more so to help this community of hard-working, committed individuals succeed in the workforce.”

The Catalyst awards, Shapira continued, “give us an opportunity to honor like-minded leaders in fields both inside and outside of the traditional disability community, who are helping to promote and protect the human rights of people with disabilities.”

Peter Berns, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based organization, explained that Catalyst honorees “do not just align with The Arc’s mission, they are helping to expand it to new audiences. They are each change agents in their respective fields, and their work is helping to create a future that is more inclusive for people with disabilities. We are grateful for their contributions and hope that by honoring their work, we will inspire and empower others to follow in their footsteps.”

Multi-format food, fuel and pharmacy retailer Giant Eagle, recently named as Progressive Grocer’s 2016 Retailer of the Year, enables team members with disabilities to be treated just as they should be - no differently than their colleagues without disabilities. People with disabilities thrive in a variety of positions throughout the company’s 423 retail locations, where individuals are given the opportunity to find a job that best fits their skill set and interests.

Giant Eagle also has disability awareness training for its team members, which includes a review of the Americans with Disabilities Act, interviewing skills for hiring people with disabilities, and disability simulations. The goal is not just to promote employment for people with disabilities within their company, but also to educate, empower, and enable other companies to follow in their footsteps. Additionally, Giant Eagle is focused on expanding its “Liaison” project with its community partners ACHIEVA, Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services, New Avenues to Independence and Goodwill.  In this project, outside job coaches are embedded into the Company to help facilitate hiring and retaining more people with disabilities. Each of Giant Eagle’s major markets has at least one Liaison.

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