Just the Facts

The Challenge

  • The unemployment rate for people with a disability is 85%.
  • The employment participation rate for people with a disability is less than 10%.
  • Everyday in the Commonwealth of PA there are 200,000 open jobs, daily.
  • For each person with a disability we employ, even part time, the commonwealth saves
    thousands of dollars per year in benefits & services.
  • Employers need reliable, trainable, employees to fill vacant jobs
  • The average cost to find & train a new employee is $10,000
    • The average turnover rate is 20% and has been increasing every year since 2011.
  • Employers must comply with new regulations such as:
    • WIOA- Workplace Innovation Opportunity Act
    • PA Employment First Executive Order
  • People with a disability currently live within a system that works to nurture and protect


The Innovation

Empowering Lives Foundation’s mission is Empowering People to live connected lives by
helping them Discover their purpose & talents through social experiences and customized
meaningful employment! We create jobs for people in their areas of interest that meet their
conditions for success, and then match them with a business’s unmet need in their community.
Empowering people to create and live a life they choose in their communities.

We plan to begin and operate cash revenue generating business the first two being a staffing
agency to provide full time and part time employees to local businesses; and a coffee roasting
and shop operation. Both of these will provide a steady stream of income so that we can
employee and train people in their communities along side people in their local neighborhoods.

We are working with Appalachian Regional Commission and various local agencies to open a
community kitchen & small business food incubator. This will be a hub to train folks with
disabilities and disadvantage people for jobs in the hospitality industry. We will also provide a space
and assistance for those looking to start a food-focused business, or for growers to complete
value added services to their products.

The Impact

Empowering all people to discover their interest and conditions for success, though employment
in their communities will change our communities and the lives of those who live in them. Once
we fill a local business’s need with an employee who has an interest in their area, in their
neighborhood. That employee and community member will live there, shop there, and work
there! This is the way to enhance our local towns. Each person we employee saves the
government thousands of dollars per year in benefits. Increases local spending, taxes, and retains our
citizens to live in our local towns. Empowering Lives Foundation will strengthen communities,
create jobs for disadvantaged people, and improve our business community and change the
culture for all those who live here.