(Pittsburgh) Bender Consulting Services, Inc. has been selected as the recipient of the 1999 Employer of the Year Award from hireAbility in Philadelphia. This award is presented each year to an employer in the business community that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of the mission of hireAbility and the employment of individuals with a disability. HireAbility is a nonprofit organization that matches qualified people with disabilities to job openings at area businesses at no cost to employers or applications. Headquartered in Philadelphia, hireAbility services businesses and people with disabilities in the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.

Bender Consulting Services, Inc. is located at Penn Center West in Pittsburgh and is owned and operated by Joyce Bender. Several years ago, Bender miraculously recovered from a brain hemorrhage that was a result of an accident caused by an epileptic seizure. She never forgot about the people she met in rehabilitation. She has been finding jobs for people with disabilities ever since. In 1995, Bender started Bender Consulting Services, Inc., a for-profit company that hires technical experts with disabilities. About 80 percent of her employees have disabilities. Several are blind and in wheelchairs. One is a double amputee and another is deaf. All must have the education and skills to meet the needs of the companies the firm consults with. Demand has been so strong that Bender will soon be opening an office in Harrisburg.

Bender is also a member of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. The Committee's mission is to communicate, coordinate and promote public and private efforts to enhance the employment of people with disabilities.

Bender will be recognized for her accomplishments at the annual hireAbility Recognition dinner Tuesday, May 25 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia.