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Briggs & Associates Receives 2022 CQL Award of Excellence

In recognition of their exemplary employment services, Briggs & Associates is being honored with a 2022 CQL Award of Excellence by CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. Briggs & Associates has a decades-long history of supporting people with disabilities to identify, secure, and maintain careers of their choosing in the community. Since its inception more than thirty years ago, the organization has supported over 8,000 people in Georgia to flourish by finding meaningful employment. 

“Briggs & Associates is truly leading the way when it comes to employment,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, President and CEO of CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. “They’re supporting people to build careers, find personal fulfillment, and advance independence. The team is so deserving of this award!” 

The organization takes the approach of “what will it take for this person to be able to work?” instead of asking “can this person work?” Briggs & Associates then leverages passions, strengths, and interests so each person can gain employment that aligns with their own goals and desired outcomes. 

When the focus is on designing and implementing individualized employment services, people with disabilities have the foundation to flourish in their career – regardless of their level of support needs. The organization has a ‘no refusal’ policy, where anyone who seeks out services from Briggs & Associates will be able to find employment. 

“We match the gifts and talents of each person to specific needs within their local business communities. This unique approach toward diversifying the workforce has produced positive outcomes in a variety of industries, including healthcare, finance, law, education, government, technology, production, entertainment, and more. The opportunities for people are limitless and the return on investment for employers is significant,” states Emily Myers, Region Director of Briggs & Associates. 

A Steadfast Commitment To Employment 

The sound philosophies and innovative practices of Briggs & Associates are embraced and embodied by staff who are determined to make the workforce more inclusive. The organization’s employees come from diverse backgrounds with extensive expertise in employment services. There are even staff members who have been with the organization since it was founded. 

“The staff truly gets to know the person, giving them the ability to open different doors for people and continue with them throughout the career process, rather than just ‘find a job,’” states Jennifer Briggs, President and CEO of Briggs & Associates. 

This degree of dedication has been unwavering even through the most difficult times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, staff continued to provide cutting-edge employment services while navigating health and safety measures. As life has moved toward a ‘post-pandemic’ world, Briggs & Associates’ employees were proactive in helping people with disabilities get back to work. The organization’s employment rates for people with disabilities have now essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels, keeping 82% of those served employed. 

Currently, Briggs & Associates represents 900 people through their employment services. They never receive under minimum wage and standard goals are set for people to work at least 20 hours per week. Careers are designed in all industries ensuring a focus on non-traditional sites, in both small and large business. All of this success translates to why Briggs & Associates is one of the largest supported employment agencies in the world. 

About Briggs & Associates 

Founded in 1989, Briggs & Associates operates on the philosophy that “anyone who has the desire, has the ability to be successful in the workplace.” The company initially provided support to 5 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and later expanded to include services for people with mental health diagnoses. The focus has always been one person at-a-time, even throughout a period of tremendous growth. Over the course of thirty+ years, Briggs & Associates has developed and supported careers for over 8,000 people throughout Georgia. The true impact of this approach is immeasurable, as “building one successful life strengthens a whole community.” 

About the CQL Awards of Excellence 

The CQL Awards of Excellence recognize individuals, organizations, and/or systems that exemplify the very best in human services for people with disabilities. The 2022 award recipients were selected among numerous submissions by entities that have achieved CQL Accreditation and/or CQL Certification. Since the CQL Awards of Excellence was first established in 2015, there have been just over a dozen recipients of this prestigious designation. 

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Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.