Supplier Diversity at Microsoft

Supported Employment Program

supported employment, developmental disability/disabilities, developmental disability, developmental disabilities

Making a Difference

The mission of Microsoft's Supported Employment program is simple: Partner with vendors and local employment agencies to make a substantial difference in the lives of people with developmental disabilities who might otherwise be overlooked in the job market. People with developmental disabilities face particular challenges in the job market. We believe with the right training and support they can become successful, productive workers with jobs that match their interests and abilities. Having fulfilling employment also promotes their independence and helps them become fully integrated members of their communities.

Microsoft has an enduring commitment to fulfilling public responsibilities and serving the needs of people in communities worldwide, including those with disabilities.  This commitment extends beyond products and services; it includes community and civic involvement to better the lives of underserved populations.  The Supported Employment program furthers these goals by creating opportunities for workers with developmental disabilities to be employed by Microsoft vendors.

Providing Opportunities

As one of the largest corporations in Washington State, Microsoft works with hundreds of vendor companies contracted to provide services at its many properties throughout Puget Sound—from dining and transportation to facility services, office administration and more.  Many of our vendors have jobs that individuals with developmental disabilities are capable of performing. Microsoft has recognized it has a rich opportunity to partner with vendors and local employment agencies to create job opportunities for people with developmental disabilities at Microsoft facilities throughout Puget Sound in such roles as food prep, janitorial, dishwasher, landscaping, reception, office moves, office administration and furniture warehouse.

Local employment agencies support these individuals and maximize their opportunities for success by providing them with specialized, ongoing training and one-on-one supervision and coaching. Workers with developmental disabilities receive wages and benefits from their vendor employers, plus the social benefits of working alongside colleagues of all abilities.

Participating Employment Agencies

Microsoft has partnered with the following employment agencies specializing in supported employment for people with developmental disabilities. These agencies provide the high-quality training and support that is vital to the success of the Supported Employment program and play an integral role in sourcing employment opportunities with our vendor partners.

Success Stories

Meet some of the employees who are making a difference as part of the Supported Employment program.

Customer Service Associate
Pitney Bowes
Tim, an employee of Pitney Bowes, has been delivering packages and mail on the Microsoft campus since 1996. Puget Sound Personnel has been his supported employment vendor for over 20 years and has helped Tim with many transitions and changes in his current position. Tim excels in delivering outstanding customer service and is a true advocate for helping to enhance the employee experience to everyone he meets. He is cheerful, efficient and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet!
Pitney Bowes
As a high school senior Cassandra participated in a school-to-work program.  With the help of Puget Sound Personnel, Cassandra became employed by a Microsoft vendor which assigned her to a reception role at Microsoft in 2007. Her dream job was to be a receptionist where she could interact with visitors and customers. Cassie has received rave reviews from her Pitney Bowes managers and coworkers, as well as customers and visitors, for her positive attitude, warm smile and strong work ethic.
Food Prep Assistant
Compass Group

Photos courtesy of Puget
Sound Personnel
Supported by Puget Sound Personnel and employed by Compass Group, Gunnar has been working on the Microsoft campus since 1997 and is a professional, outgoing and motivated individual. He began working as a dishwasher at the Sammamish campus. As a result of Gunnar’s hard work and dedication, he received a promotion in 2010 and moved to the Bellevue City Center location where he is able to do his dream job in food prep.



Supported Employment Program FAQs

What population of supported workers is the primary focus of this initiative?
What is a developmental disability?
Why is Microsoft interested in supported employment?
Which vendors will be hiring and what kinds of jobs may become available?
Is there a targeted age range for people eligible for jobs through this hiring initiative?
Who will be identifying the opportunities for supported employment?
Which employment agencies will be providing the training and long term support to the supported workers?
How do people access information about supported employment opportunities with Microsoft vendors?
What steps should a person with developmental disabilities take to engage in the program?