Atlanta, GA,
17:44 PM

Getting People with Disabilities Back to Work

Shepherd Center, Genuine Parts Company partner to help people with disabilities make their mark in the workplace.

Genuine Parts Company Vocational Rehabilitation Program

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, people with disabilities participate in the U.S. labor force at a rate 44% lower than people who do not have disabilities – a statistic that, together, Genuine Parts Company (GPC) and Shepherd Center are working to change.

GPC and Shepherd Center, both headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, recently announced the establishment of the Genuine Parts Company Vocational Rehabilitation Program at Shepherd Center. 

The program will enhance Shepherd Center’s vocational services, which help people get back to work after experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. 

“Through their intense rehabilitation, Shepherd Center patients demonstrate resilience, focus, and commitment,” says Paul Donahue, chairman and chief executive officer at Genuine Parts Company. “These qualities will help them thrive as they return to the workforce. GPC’s purpose – We Keep the World Moving – extends to our efforts to help people get back to work in satisfying roles where they can learn, grow, and begin again.” 

Vocational rehabilitation specialists in the program help patients identify their challenges in returning to work, practice problem-solving, and find available career resources in their communities.

“One of the first questions we often get from patients who are at Shepherd Center for rehabilitation after a serious injury or illness is, ‘Will I be able to return to work?’” explains Sarah Morrison, PT, MBA, MHA, CEO at Shepherd Center. “And many times, the answer is ‘yes.’ It may look different than before, but our goal is to give our patients, and their families hope in a future that includes fulfilling and meaningful work. We’re grateful for Genuine Parts Company’s commitment to helping our patients and their families achieve their career-related goals.”

In addition to pledging philanthropic support for Shepherd Center’s vocational rehabilitation program, Genuine Parts Company hosts tours for Shepherd Center patients to offer them in-person experiences navigating office, retail, and warehouse environments to help them prepare for returning to work. 

“When you’re in rehabilitation, you can’t think of all these little things you will need when you return to work,” says Gerry Snieski, a recent graduate of Shepherd Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program who attended one of GPC’s tours. “The program instills a lot of confidence to be able to speak to your boss and say, ‘Hey, here's what I need to return to work, be productive, and live my life the best I can.’”

 Learn more about vocational rehabilitation at Shepherd Center.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again. 

About Genuine Parts Company

Founded in 1928, Genuine Parts Company is a global service organization engaged in the distribution of automotive and industrial replacement parts. The company's Automotive Parts Group distributes automotive replacement parts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australasia, France, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. The company's Industrial Parts Group distributes industrial replacement parts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australasia. In total, the company serves its global customers from an extensive network of more than 10,000 locations in 17 countries and has approximately 58,000 employees. Further information is available at