SourceAmerica Launches Internship Program for Veterans with Disabilities
VIENNA, Va. Dec. 1, 2015 - National nonprofit SourceAmerica, a leading source of job opportunities for people with disabilities, launched a new program to assist veterans. The four-month, paid internship program will help veterans with disabilities re-enter the work place.
Eight veterans working at SourceAmerica’s headquarters in Vienna, Virginia, and its Washington, D.C., field office will support the organization in areas such as program management, graphic design and ethics and compliance.
For SourceAmerica’s President and CEO Steve Soroka, creating new employment opportunities to expand veterans’ professional options is central to SourceAmerica's mission.
"SourceAmerica connects its network of 1,200 community-based nonprofit agencies with employment opportunities for people with disabilities serving federal and non-federal contracting needs," Soroka said. "As a veteran myself, I believe we owe it to those who served to provide meaningful employment opportunities after service is completed. Our veteran intern program will continue to build on that success."
To date, SourceAmerica has helped secure employment for nearly 3,000 veterans. Veterans with disabilities represent a talented yet underserved population that often struggles to find employment following service-related injuries. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, roughly 25 percent of recent veterans will have a service-related disability. Yet upon returning home, 16 percent cannot find work. Despite federal laws protecting veterans with disabilities from discrimination, societal misperceptions and stigmas still exist. For some, it's a case of needing simple job accommodations. For others it's dispelling the myth that veterans with disabilities can no longer be a viable part of the work force.
SourceAmerica’s Denise Perka, who manages the veteran intern program, said the holiday season is an ideal time for SourceAmerica to launch the program.
"The holiday season is an especially challenging time to be unemployed," Perka said. "We're pleased to be able to launch this program at the start of the holidays and look forward to offering this program twice a year. Our ultimate goal is to expand the program to all SourceAmerica field offices and to our network of nonprofit agencies."
Ana Rodriguez, SourceAmerica director of training, said each intern will receive additional business training provided by SourceAmerica to support their professional development and transition back into the workforce.
"Our hope is that through this program, the interns are empowered to be successful in their careers and achieve the job of their dreams," Rodriguez said.