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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. was honored yesterday for its record of supporting the employment of people with disabilities during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. hosted by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR).
Attending the event were members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives including Senator Christopher Dodd, retired Senator Robert Dole, Congressman John Tierney, and Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher along with the directors of vocational rehabilitation agencies across the U.S.
"These are among our most productive employees, and we intend to build on this important program as a way of raising awareness and supporting people with disabilities," said Safeway chairman, president, and c.e.o. Steve Burd, who accepted the award for the company.
Safeway currently employs nearly 10,000 people with disabilities in its stores and support facilities across the U.S. and Canada. The company was specifically recognized for hiring 520 new employees in 2006 with various physical, sensory, and developmental disabilities through CSAVR's network of agencies in the U.S.
The Council also recognized Safeway for its history of hiring and retaining people with disabilities, and the company's proactive work in the community in sponsoring events that promote hiring and accessible customer service for people with disabilities. Safeway is a long-time sponsor of Easter Seals and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and has raised a combined $100 million for the two organizations over the last 20 years.
CSAVR is focused on maintaining and enhancing a strong, effective, and efficient national program of public vocational rehabilitation services to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve the employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, inclusion, and integration into the community.
Earlier this month, Safeway launched a month-long campaign to raise funds for community-based programs to assist people with physical and developmental disabilities. During April the company plans to raise $5 million for Easter Seals, an organization dedicated to helping people with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs.
Safeway operates 1,761 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006.