Future employment opportunities are impacted by innovative and technological improvements. In 2016, SourceAmerica’s rehabilitation engineers, programs like Pathways to Careers and Design Challenge and emerging projects and methodologies challenged the status quo and illustrated how “smarter and better” is done.

In this year alone, SourceAmerica’s two rehabilitation engineers trained 500 people. A particularly successful endeavor for our engineers was the reorganization of a packaging line that resulted in nearly a 400 percent productivity gain. The effort’s impact allowed for economic transition for workers to earn minimum wage and above.

We apply this same drive for innovative solutions through Pathways to Careers, our competitive integrated employment initiative for people with significant disabilities. For the first time outside funding was awarded to model Employer Payroll Tax Adjustment payments to Pathways to Careers participants at JVS Detroit, a participating nonprofit. That milestone was a crucial step forward in advancing the employment of individuals with disabilities and the Pathways to Careers initiative. EPTA is an idea unique to Pathways to Careers and was originally conceived as a solution to the lack of long-term support dollars available to assist individuals with disabilities working in their communities.

In April, we hosted our national engineering Design Challenge finals competition. The competition enables high school and college students to solve workplace challenges for employees with disabilities while competing for awards and prizes. This year 120 teams participated, and countless people benefited and will continue to benefit from the resulting technologies.

Whether it’s our ongoing programs or our emerging projects like vertical farming – part of a total facilities management and facilities maintenance plan – innovation is leading SourceAmerica today and into the future.