ViaQuest, a leading provider of health and employment services, will provide hands-on training and related support to empower veterans and people with disabilities to secure employment in OfficeMax locations throughout the state.
DUBLIN, OHIO, February 20, 2014 – ViaQuest, Inc. announced today that it is working with OfficeMax® Incorporated, now part of the new company formed through the merger of equals with Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions, to develop a work-training facility and direct employment program to prepare veterans and people with disabilities for job opportunities at Ohio-based OfficeMax locations.
The work training partnership, part of the OfficeMax Maxing out Diversity program, aims to increase employment for veterans and people with disabilities while providing OfficeMax with a model to further diversify its Ohio workforce. The program, which will launch in summer 2014, is similar to those that OfficeMax has initiated in Alabama, Illinois and Nevada.
The innovative partnership, facilitated through a two-year grant from Kessler Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities through rehabilitation research and funding disability employment initiatives – will use a real-world work environment and specialized curriculum to train people with disabilities for meaningful careers within OfficeMax’s distribution and retail centers.
ViaQuest also has connected with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) – the statewide agency for employment and rehabilitation services – to identify potential participants for the OfficeMax training program. OOD provides services to more than 2,500 central Ohioans with disabilities in Franklin and contiguous counties and more than 18,000 throughout Ohio to assist them in realizing their employment goals. By partnering with OOD for access to ready-to-work participants, ViaQuest believes the venture with OfficeMax will create unique employment opportunities initially in central Ohio and ultimately around the state. This goal aligns with ViaQuest’s history of success in delivering employment and health services to veterans and people with disabilities.
“Our partnership with OfficeMax is a testament to how we’re expanding our circle of care to provide more opportunities for individuals to secure private-sector employment,” said Rich Johnson, CEO of ViaQuest. “At the same time, we’re well positioned to help companies such as OfficeMax reach their diversity and inclusion goals.”
The program will provide training on-site with specialized curriculum and will utilize a real-world work environment to give the participants the skill sets for employment in the OfficeMax distribution center or the retail store setting. The skills are transferable to assist students with successful employment at other businesses as well.
“The foundational strength of this program is twofold,” said Larry Worth, executive director of ViaQuest Employment Services. “We’re not only preparing people for work within the OfficeMax setting, but we’re also instilling skills that will empower them for success in a range of work environments. Participants will be well prepared to thrive and succeed as highly motivated, dependable and qualified employees.”
ViaQuest will launch the program in stages with the initial focus on creating a retail and distribution training facility to serve metropolitan Columbus, Ohio. The facility will feature products, shelving, inventory systems and employee training techniques that mirror those encountered in true OfficeMax facilities. ViaQuest is considering locations in the Columbus suburbs for the training facility. As the program expands, ViaQuest will develop similar training programs throughout the state to serve a broader range of OfficeMax locations in Ohio.
Ongoing OfficeMax Commitment to Diversity
OfficeMax’s partnership with ViaQuest is just the latest in OfficeMax’s ongoing commitment to working with veterans and people with disabilities. As part the company’s Maxing Out Diversity program, last year OfficeMax partnered with Aspire of Illinois to launch a work training facility in Illinois under the Kessler Foundation grant. OfficeMax also is working with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and local organizations to create career-training facilities in other markets including Dallas and Las Vegas. In 2013 OfficeMax was awarded the National Employment Team “Private Sector Business of the Year” by the CSAVR for its commitment to employing veterans and people with disabilities, including OfficeMax’s PowerMax distribution center in McCalla, Alabama, which has employed more than 60 people with disabilities. Additionally, OfficeMax has partnered with the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation to develop a work training facility for young adults with autism.
ViaQuest is a healthcare company that believes strongly in choice for its employees and the people it serves. Its areas of expertise include home health and hospice, mental and behavioral health, and developmental disabilities. ViaQuest offers quality, highly personalized, specialized and cost-effective care, empowering individuals to function independently and live their best possible lives. Through a wide range of innovative services referred to as ViaQuest’s Circle of Care, a skilled, dedicated staff ensures that the people served are active participants in their own care. The company is based in Dublin, Ohio. For more information, call ViaQuest at 800-645-3267 or visit www.ViaQuestInc.com.
About ViaQuest Employment Services
ViaQuest Employment Services is an exclusive employment and staffing agency for veterans and people with disabilities. ViaQuest Employment Services works with local, statewide (Ohio) and national businesses to develop and promote diversity and inclusion programs.