2018 Special Olympics USA Games and SourceAmerica Team up to Present First-Ever USA Games Job Fair

By SourceAmerica 05/31/2018

SEATTLE – The determination, self-discipline and sportsmanship athletes learn through Special Olympics are life skills that serve them well in the workplace. This July, SourceAmerica, a national leader in creating employment opportunities and choices for people with disabilities, and the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games are teaming up to train athletes for career success.

For the first time at a USA Games, Special Olympics will offer a job fair for athletes in conjunction with the USA Games in Seattle. The job fair, Journey of Employment, will be held Thursday and Friday, July 5-6, in the Lyceum room at the University of Washington's Husky Union Building (HUB). Journey of Employment is a career coaching event that's much more than a traditional job fair. Athletes and other individuals with intellectual disabilities will embark on a trip through a series of stations to assess, polish and present their skills to commercial employers that recognize the potential of Special Olympics athletes on the job.

The first stop on the journey is a short coaching session with employment experts from SourceAmerica and its network of nonprofits. Candidates will learn tips on how to share their talents with potential employers, strengthen interview skills and gain other career advice. Family members are also invited to take part to support their athletes.

Next stop: job fair vendors. Candidates will meet representatives of companies that are seeking new talent. It's a chance for both potential employee and employer to learn more about each other and share contact information to stay connected. Participating companies include 2018 USA Games Partners Microsoft, Bank of America, Brooks Running Company, City of Seattle, Kaiser Permanente, King County, Starbucks, Swire Coca-Cola, the University of Washington, Walmart and Amazon, as well as Microsoft partners Compass, MV Transportation and Novitex. SourceAmerica member nonprofit agencies will also take part in the job fair.

"As the Pacific Northwest prepares for the USA Games, we are excited to play an important role in creating a region that welcomes everyone," said Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft. "At Microsoft, we know that having a diverse workforce which includes people with disabilities is essential to deliver on our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Together, we can help improve the unemployment rate for people with disabilities and make a more inclusive world."

Candidates will hear from fellow athletes who've taken their winning skills from the field to the workforce, and SourceAmerica will also host disability awareness training for companies to support their inclusive corporate culture.

"This is an exciting step forward in building an Inclusion Economy™, one in which all people are recognized for their talents and potential," said Steve Soroka, president and CEO of SourceAmerica. "Special Olympics athletes are an excellent talent pool to connect with our network of more than 800 nonprofits employing people with disabilities, so we're really pleased to be part of this national effort."

The event is designed to raise awareness for a talent pool that is often overlooked.

"Special Olympics athletes have worked hard on and off the field to compete on a national stage, and it's that same determination and mindset that make them valuable assets for employers," said Beth Knox, president and CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. "People with intellectual disabilities are often an untapped resource for employers, and we're so excited to provide a platform for our athletes and employers to connect."

For more information on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games visit SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org.