PRIDE industries creates opportunities for people with disabilities
PRIDE Industries headquarters
3015 Venture Drive, Lincoln
10030 Foothills Blvd., Roseville
13080 Earhart Ave., Auburn
PRIDE Industries was started in 1966, by a small group of devoted parents. They met in the basement of a church in Auburn with the goal to create an organization that would find meaningful work for their adult children with disabilities.
Now PRIDE is a major nonprofit of employers of people with disabilities in 14 states, employing more than 3,400 people with disabilities. It aims to be the leading employer of people with disabilities and meet the needs of individuals overcoming barriers to employment.
Tony Lopez is the vice president of operations, manufacturing and logistic services for PRIDE. Lopez works out of the Roseville headquarters and has been with PRIDE for 20 years.
“You’re not just a number,” he said. “You’re looked at as a contributor.”
Lopez recalled an experience when a new employee, the daughter of Wheatland Elementary School’s principal, began working at PRIDE. “She was very introverted; no eye contact,” said Lopez, adding that her parents were unsure what to expect.
But within six months, the transformation in the young lady’s attitude and behavior was visibly different. Lopez noticed she was outgoing, appeared to be happier and even told him she was getting her own apartment with a coworker at PRIDE.
“That’s kind of the transformation you see almost on a daily basis,” said Lopez. “You take someone society looks at as a tax burden, make them a taxpayer and give them a paycheck — something most take for granted … It’s an amazing experience.”
Scott Lacey, director of operations, has been working with PRIDE for 13 years. Lacey said although he’s been working in this industry his entire career, this particular company is unique.
“It’s two times as challenging, and two times as rewarding,” he said. “The mission of this work is intoxicating.”
PRIDE’s work in the Lincoln community is just getting started. By summer of 2019, the company plans to consolidate its operations and move to Lincoln and expand its efforts within the town. While its Lincoln location currently employs between 50 and 60 people, by next year, it hopes to reach upwards of 200 employees. According to Lopez, when that happens, PRIDE will become the fourth largest employer in Lincoln.
Lopez said the Lincoln community has responded to PRIDE with open arms. The company has been partnering with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and other leaders in the Lincoln community.
Martin Canada is a Marysville resident and has been working at the PRIDE warehouse in Lincoln for three years. He said he enjoys the work and the variety of tasks he is responsible for. Rose Mansanalez, 52, has only been working at PRIDE for a few months, but said she already loves the job.
“My bosses are awesome,” she said, “and so are the employees.”
Employment opportunities with PRIDE include: Electronics manufacturing services; supply chain management; logistics; design and print; custodial; facilities maintenance; specialized cleaning for controlled environments; landscaping and grounds maintenance; food service; administrative services; transportation and more. Rehabilitation services are also available which include individual and group employment, job exploration, coaching and development, and independent living.
“The organization is so great for providing an opportunity for people with disabilities,” said Lopez. “At the end of the day you feel good about what you do.”