Cosmetics Giant Making A Difference By Hiring People With Disabilities

Sep 19, 2019, 7:27 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2019, 6:14 am

WEST JORDAN, Utah – A Utah mother with disabilities was able to return to the workforce through a program with the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation and cosmetics company Sephora, which plans to hire 30% of its workforce through the program.

Angie Crawford of West Jordan struggles with depression and PTSD. “There are good days and bad days,” she said.

Some days were so tough she had a hard time getting and keeping a job.

“She just kind of like goes in her room and doesn’t really talk to anyone. It’s kind of scary because you don’t know what she could be doing in there,” said her 15-year-old son Xavier. “I just pray, hoping that she’ll get through it.”

Angie is one of the 151,000 adults with a disability in Utah, but only a small percentage of them are employed.

Through Sephora and a program managed by Clark Jones, a senior manager in their human resources department, Angie got her chance and her work is benefitting her entire family.

“She is just fantastic,” Jones said. “We’ve set a goal to hire 50 people a year for the next three years. That will put us at about 30% of our workforce of this warehouse are people with disabilities.”

“Being here has just really helped me with my self-esteem,” Angie said.

Sephora recruits through Leah Lobato with the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, which has a program in place to provide resources and support to help get more people with disabilities in the workplace.

“I don’t think businesses know of all the resources and support that are available to them around recruiting, hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities,” Lobato said.

That included nine weeks of training paid for by the state, where Angie got hands-on experience. They taught employees how to pack and ship Sephora products in a quiet space, without a lot of external stimulation. Then, they moved on to the massive warehouse, which is noisy but highly organized.

Over the last few months Angie said her confidence and overall mental health have improved.

“What they’ve done for me is amazing, and they really, they gave my life purpose again and helped me to believe in myself,” she said.

For Jones, the program is personal because his son Charlie has autism.

“As Charlie was growing up and not hitting those milestones, we thought there’s probably something up there that we needed to get checked out,” he said. “Charlie is a teacher for our family. He doesn’t see that the world is not build to be a friendly place for him. Anything I can do to help clear the brush for him, we’re in it 100%.”

By helping Angie, the company is also supporting her sons, who Angie said mean everything to her.

“They’re the light of my life,” she said.

Her sons said they’ve noticed the difference in their mother since she returned to work.

“She likes to talk to us more, she’s herself now, she’s not sad or depressed all the time anymore,” Xavier said. “It allows me to focus on school, and on things that I do.”

Angie said it’s all thanks to a program that’s helping her find success by getting the job done.

“It just helps me to feel so good about myself and hopefully, to make them proud,” Angie said.

An industry report found employees with disabilities offer tangible benefits, including increased innovation, improved productivity and a better work environment.

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Cosmetics Giant Making A Difference By Hiring People With Disabilities