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OfficeMax Joins Forces with Aspire, Kessler Foundation to Expand Employment Programs for People with Disabilities

New Aspire CareerLink Training Center in Suburban Chicago to Provide Real-World Training for OfficeMax Careers for People with Disabilities

Thursday, August 8, 2013 6:27 pm EDT


"We found that hiring people with disabilities has allowed us to tap into a talented pool of workers that bring unique experiences and understanding that provide OfficeMax with a distinct competitive advantage."

OfficeMax® (NYSE: OMX), a leading provider of office and facility supplies, technology and services, this week joined Kessler Foundation, Aspire of Illinois, the Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE), the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services in launching Aspire CareerLink, a work training facility in Hillside, Ill. for people with disabilities.

The innovative partnership, facilitated through a two-year grant from Kessler Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities through rehabilitation research and funding disability employment initiatives – will utilize a real-world work environment and specialized curriculum to train people with disabilities for meaningful careers within OfficeMax's distribution and retail centers.

"We're proud to receive this grant and to help support the Aspire CareerLink work training facility, which advances our continuous efforts toward creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture," said Larry Hartley, OfficeMax senior vice president, Supply Chain.

"We are creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that can attract qualified associates of all abilities and backgrounds to create innovative business solutions," adds Carolynn Brooks, OfficeMax vice president, chief diversity officer. "We found that hiring people with disabilities has allowed us to tap into a talented pool of workers that bring unique experiences and understanding that provide OfficeMax with a distinct competitive advantage."

Ongoing Commitment to Diversity

OfficeMax's support for the Aspire CareerLink work training facility is just the latest in OfficeMax's ongoing commitment to working with veterans and people with disabilities. As part the company's Maxing Out Diversity project, under the Kessler Foundation grant OfficeMax is working with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and local organizations to create career-training facilities in other markets nationwide, including Las Vegas, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio. Earlier this year OfficeMax was awarded the National Employment Team 2013 "Private Sector Business of the Year" by the CSAVR for its commitment to employing veterans and people with disabilities, including OfficeMax's PowerMax distribution center in McCalla, Alabama, which has employed more than 35 people with disabilities. Additionally, OfficeMax has partnered with the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation to develop a work training facility for young adults with autism.

OfficeMax also sells Aspire CoffeeWorks™ artisan coffee to business customers through its OfficeMax Workplace contract division, and to employees at its headquarters cafe. All of the net proceeds from the sale of Aspire CoffeeWorks coffee benefit Aspire's life-changing programs for people with disabilities.

About OfficeMax

OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE: OMX) is a leading provider of products, solutions and services for the workplace, whether for business or at home. The OfficeMax mission is simple: We provide workplace innovation that enables our customers to work better. The company provides office supplies and paper, print and document services, technology products and solutions, and furniture to businesses and consumers. OfficeMax consumers and business customers are served by approximately 29,000 associates through,, and; more than 900 stores in the U.S. and Mexico, and direct sales and catalogs. OfficeMax has been named one of the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies, and is the only company in the office supply industry to receive Ethics Inside® Certification by the Ethisphere Institute. To find the nearest OfficeMax, call 1-877-OFFICEMAX. For more information, visit

All trademarks, service marks and trade names of OfficeMax Incorporated used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of OfficeMax Incorporated. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.


Nicole Miller, 630.864.6069