Job One Receives Systems Change Grant


Contact: Rebeca Swank, Community Engagement Director, Job One, 816.905.6104, [email protected]

Historic Partnership Paves Way for Innovation & Expanded Services for People with Disabilities in the Kansas City Metro

Recent systems change grant from Jackson County’s eitas drives momentum for more individualized and community-based programs at Job One.

Jackson County, MO — May 17, 2023 — Since 1967, Job One has provided services and employment opportunities, as well as community-based services and programs for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment in Jackson County, Missouri. They are currently transforming their facility-based Packaging & Assembly sheltered workshop into a Community-Based Employment/Networking Service. The goal being to provide people served with meaningful employment and day options that build skills and expand their social capital and opportunities for belonging. To support this significant systems change, Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County – eitas, committed $375,000 to Job One. The funds will be used to provide those working in the Packaging & Assembly program to make the transition from facility-based to community-based programs and services at their own pace. Job One will sunset their 14c exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows organizations to pay some individuals with disabilities a commensurate wage, by September 2024. 

Over recent years, Job One shifted their approach to offer more diverse community-based and individual day services to better meet the needs of the people they serve. “Our Job One Careers program has made great gains in expanding integrated job opportunities in the community for this population over recent years. This partnership with eitas, allows Job One greater capacity to diversify services and introduce more person-centered programs,” states Job One President and CEO, Aaron Martin.  This includes growth of Job One’s ground-breaking Community-Based Day Services (CBDS) program which provides highly individualized and group experiences of volunteering, meaningful activities, and making valuable connections. In addition, Job One is transitioning former workshop space to give employees more entrepreneurial and creative opportunities, including the introduction of screen printing, embroidery and digital printing equipment for customized t-shirt and apparel production. Job One has hit the ground running, with orders for custom apparel from several local businesses and organizations already in motion.

The shift in Job One services and programs will take place over the next 12-18 months in alignment with the organization’s strategic plan. Mr. Martin adds, “We are grateful to the leadership at eitas for seeing both the need and the possibilities. The needs of adults with disabilities in our community go overlooked far too often. Everyone deserves the dignity of personal choice and the opportunity to be a part of their community. With this partnership, we aim to deliver a new standard of service and give a greater voice to the people with disabilities who have chosen to be part of the Job One Community.”

Job One is a nonprofit social enterprise on a mission to build skills and connections that create meaningful days and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Job One serves individuals in Jackson, Clay, and Cass Counties in Missouri. Visit for more information.