Partnerships With Industry (PWI), a San Diego-based nonprofit that matches workers with developmental and intellectual disabilities with meaningful employment, has named Richard V. Israel as its new President and CEO. Israel has more than 30 years of experience in business leadership, strategic management, community development, special event marketing and sales promotion. One of PWI’s four facilities is located in Santee at 9560 Pathway St.
“I’m excited to be able to contribute to the great work that PWI does for the San Diego business community,” Israel said. “We are here to strengthen people through training and create employment opportunities so our clients can thrive in a work environment where their abilities, not their disabilities, are recognized and nurtured.”
“We are fortunate to have Rich join us,” said Daniel Sakow, PWI board chair. “Our organization will benefit greatly from his leading by example, astute business experience and his passion to successfully create win-win partnerships between San Diego County businesses and adults with disabilities who want to work.”
Prior to PWI, Israel spent 11 years as chapter president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s San Diego-based Pacific South Coast Chapter that served people affected by MS living in San Diego, Orange and Imperial counties, as well as the Hawaiian Islands. Prior to the MS Society, Israel held a variety of leadership roles, including nearly 20 years as Marketing Director for the San Diego Chargers. The native of Palo Alto, Calif. has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from San Diego State University.
Founded in 1985, PWI was one of the first organizations in the state to provide support and training for employees with developmental disabilities. With offices in Chula Vista, Mission Valley, Oceanside and Santee, PWI works with more than 250 businesses around the county and serves 650 people daily with disabilities, including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, hearing and visual impairments, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illness.
PWI’s workers receive individualized assessment and training and hold jobs throughout San Diego County, from UC San Diego and the San Diego Zoo to Vons and Qualcomm. PWI’s programs include work and training centers where product assembly is performed for businesses nationwide, as well as community-based employment at local businesses in groups of three or four people with a dedicated job coach. San Diego businesses also hire PWI clients directly with ongoing job coaching support.
Over the years, PWI has helped more than 12,500 San Diego County residents with job training, employment opportunities and community integration. PWI’s funding sources require extensive reporting and are dependent on a reliable, comprehensive outcome measurements system. For more information, visit www.pwiworks.org.