BDI Honors Companies and Organizations that Break Down Barriers for People with Disabilities

BDI recognizes Pollo Tropical and Prosthetic Hope International for creating opportunities for people with disabilities to work and achieve self-sufficiency at its annual Breakfast with Champions.

MARCH 28, 2017 (ATLANTA, GA) – On March 28, 2017, Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI) honored Pollo Tropical® restaurants and Prosthetic Hope International at its annual Breakfast with Champions for breaking down barriers to employment and community access for people with disabilities. The event, sponsored by Cox Enterprises, highlights Atlanta-area businesses that partner with BDI to hire people with disabilities, the contributions of people with disabilities in the workplace, and the people who create opportunities for people with disabilities to achieve independence and personal success.

“Cox Enterprises is proud to support Breakfast with Champions because we have a culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion. When Cox Enterprises thinks about diversity, we don’t only consider diversity of gender or color, but also diversity of ability,” said Michele Blondheim, Executive Director, Community Relations at Cox Automotive, a division of Cox Enterprises. “Diversity of ability is an asset to us, and BDI is partner whose mission resonates throughout our company.”

Pollo Tropical received BDI’s Employer of the Year Award. The tropical-inspired restaurant chain began working with BDI in early 2016 to identify job candidates as it expanded its presence in Atlanta. Restaurant managers were impressed with the employees hired through BDI. Today former BDI job candidates work in Pollo Tropical restaurants across the metro area.

 “By partnering with BDI to meet its staffing needs, Pollo Tropical gains hardworking and reliable employees while also providing life-changing job opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Larry Gluth, president and chief executive officer of Bobby Dodd Institute. “BDI is proud to recognize Pollo Tropical’s commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive workplace.”

The Circle of Excellence Award honors organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to the lives of people with disabilities. This year’s recipient, Prosthetic Hope International (PHI), provides prosthetics, orthotics, and ongoing care to people who would be otherwise unable to afford them. For the people PHI serves, their new prosthetic limb or orthotic brace means greater independence, mobility, and the ability to care for themselves. PHI provides services to low-income patients in both Atlanta and the Central American country of Belize.

BDI also recognized Annette Andrews as its Employee of the Year. A quiet, hardworking, and humble woman, Annette has overcome unemployment and homelessness to become one of BDI’s most reliable and trusted agents in its contract with the Atlanta VA’s traveling call center. Today, Atlanta-area veterans depend upon Annette to arrange transportation to doctors’ appointments.

Annette is one of more than 200 people with disabilities working in BDI’s social enterprises, which sustain jobs for people with barriers to employment, generating revenue to support the organization’s mission. BDI’s mission-based social enterprises also offer high-quality business services including facilities maintenance, staffing services, logistics and warehousing, call center operations, packaging and fulfillment, and mailroom operations.

BDI is a workforce development innovation leader that equips people with in-demand skills and connects employers to qualified, dedicated talent. Last year, BDI provided career counseling, job training, employment connections, and other vocational support to more than 1,350 people with disabilities and employment barriers. For more information about BDI, please contact Lisa Kennedy at 678-365-2260 or lisa.kennedy@bobbydodd.org.

 

About Bobby Dodd Institute

Bobby Dodd Institute is a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower people with disabilities and disadvantages to maximize their potential by securing economic self-sufficiency, independence, and integration into society. BDI offers job training programs at its facilities in Atlanta and Jonesboro, GA, and it operates social enterprises throughout Georgia and in Alabama and Tennessee. Last year, BDI served more than 1,350 people with job training and employment opportunities; connected 246 people with jobs; and employed 211 people with disabilities in its mission-based social enterprises, ranging from call centers and administrative services to janitorial and grounds maintenance services.  For more information, visit www.bobbydodd.org.

About Pollo Tropical

Pollo Tropical, a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., is a tropical-inspired fast casual concept known for its fresh, flame-grilled chicken marinated in a proprietary blend of tropical fruit juices and spices. Other craveable island favorites include Mojo Roast Pork and made-from-scratch sides including rice, beans, yuca with garlic sauce, sweet plantains and more. Menu items like the Tropical Citrus Chicken Salad, Guava BBQ Pork Sandwich and Create Your Own TropiChop® bowls can be customized with 10 zesty tropical signature sauces on Pollo Tropical’s famous Saucing Island®. Founded in 1988, the Miami-based company currently owns and operates more than 170 locations in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas, plus six licensed restaurants on college campuses and 35 franchised locations throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit Pollo Tropical’s website at www.pollotropical.com.

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