PORTLAND A Portland nonprofit that provides jobs for the disabled is starting to work with for-profit companies to create careers for those with barriers to unemployment.

DePaul Industries has created a program called Purpose Staff that helps companies offer jobs and necessary training to disabled workers.

In addition to creating jobs, the program also helps companies comply with a new U.S. Department of Labor ruling that requires government contractors to fill at least 7 percent of their workforce with individuals with disabilities.

Our job is to get people started, get them into the workplace, have them have some success and then hopefully go to work into a place where they can get promoted, said Dave Shaffer, President and CEO of DePaul Industries.

Shaffer said his plan is to expand Purpose Staff nationally. So far, the company has trained or employed more than 17,00 people with disabilities, creating wages and benefits of more than $210 million.

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