2021 Virtual SourceAmerica Grassroots Conference Attendee Spotlight
Every year, people with disabilities and leadership from SourceAmerica® network nonprofit agencies gather in Washington, D.C. to advocate for better employment opportunities. This year’s Grassroots Advocacy Conference is going virtual – and may be even more significant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paul Lowe is one of the SourceAmerica Grassroots Conference attendees. From April 26-30 he will have the opportunity to share his story with peers as well as members of Congress and their staff. Lowe, a proud father of three girls, is an Assistant Project Manager working within a Department of Defense (DoD) contract at Phoenix, an organization in Huntsville, Alabama. Lowe was selected to attend the conference for his work ethic and dedication.
“Paul has always been someone that gives 110% to everything and then asks for more,” said Sherry Florian, Project Manager – Missile Defense Agency contracts. “He is my "go to" person for most everything. I know if I ask him to do something, I don’t have to worry about whether it will get done.”
Due to COVID-19, Lowe’s role has pivoted from general contract work to supporting pandemic protocols, making him part of an essential workforce. As part of this effort, Lowe pulls together daily reports of COVID-19-related issues at six military bases across the United States.
Lowe’s job path has always included serving the U.S. Government. After being medically discharged from the U.S. Army, he took a job with the Department of Homeland Security. Upon retiring from DHS, Lowe wanted to continue to serve in a different way. That’s when he came across Phoenix and the AbilityOne® Program, one of the largest sources of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities.
After starting work with Phoenix in 2016 as a mail room clerk, Lowe was shortly promoted to lead. His talents and skills led to another promotion as Assistant Project Manager. Through Phoenix, Lowe has had many opportunities to excel and grow.
“Phoenix has made accommodations for my needs,” said Lowe. “I plan to stay at Phoenix as long as I continue to be an asset the company.”
SourceAmerica has also played a role in Lowe’s success. He often visits the SourceAmerica Academy to hone up on his leadership skills. He plans to network and share his story during the 2021 SourceAmerica Virtual Grassroots Advocacy Conference. His goal is to make an impact on Capitol Hill and join other talented individuals in having his voice heard.
Lowe sees first-hand the impact organizations such as Phoenix have on veterans with disabilities like himself. He looks forward to speaking with his congressional representatives about the AbilityOne Program, job benefits, and the different employment opportunities available to veterans through the federal government.
Lowe wants hiring managers to know that employing people in this talented workforce is an important step toward diversity and inclusion.
“Starting interviews by telephone will eliminate the bias that comes with the first impression of seeing someone with a disability,” said Lowe. “Many of us have the skills to answer your questions accurately, proving that a disability won’t necessarily be an issue at all.”
To learn more about the conference click here. If your organization is interested in hiring talented people with disabilities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.