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Xochitl Torres Small, our state’s newest Congress member, visited Adelante Bargain Square thrift store in October.

Congresswoman Torres Small learned more about how Adelante helps people with disabilities, seniors, and people with disadvantages in New Mexico. She and her team also learned about the resources Adelante offers that might be helpful to their constituents.

Because October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the focus of the visit was the importance of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Adelante’s President/CEO Mike Kivitz says, “We were honored to have Representative Torres Small visit Adelante and to hear about the importance of work opportunities for people with disabilities in New Mexico. Adelante’s preference and priority is to help people find and maintain jobs with other businesses, and we encourage local businesses to connect with us to hire people with disabilities. However we also realize that everyone who wants to work, especially people with severe disabilities, may not be able to find or succeed in competitive employment, so we want to keep a full range of job opportunities available in New Mexico.”

Representative Torres Small was impressed with her first visit to Adelante and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with many of the 40+ staff members who help to run the thrift store, including over 30 people with disabilities. “Every New Mexican needs the tools to live a life of dignity. I was impressed with the programs at Adelante and their proven commitment to ensuring those living with a disability or facing other barriers can meaningful opportunities to work and contribute,” Congresswoman Torres Small said.

There are four people standing around a clothes rack. Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small is smiling in the center. A client looks back at her. The Bargain Square manager stands behind Xochitl Torres Small. A man to the far left stands behind the clothes rack and smiles.
Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small got to meet people with disabilities at Adelante Bargain Square.

The visit was a wonderful way to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Adelante employees with disabilities as well as their parents and guardians were also included in the visit with Representative Torres Small. Adelante feels that the people who will be most affected by changes or cuts to disability employment programs should be the people our representatives hear from. Customers working with Adelante’s businesses, including shoppers and donors to the thrift store, help provide jobs for people with disabilities. That is important work because currently 81% of adults with developmental disabilities do not have paid employment in the United States.

This visit was a great way to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Adelante employees who have disabilities and their parents/guardians came to visit with Torres Small as well. We think people who are most hurt and helped by changes to disability job programs should be the people our government hears from.

Adelante’s business customers, including thrift store shoppers and donors, create good jobs for people with disabilities. That is important because 81% of adults with developmental disabilities in America do not have a paid job. For more information on Adelante, visit www.GoAdelante.org. To find out more about our business services, visit www.AdelanteEnterprises.com.