The California Alliance of Rehabilitation Industries (CARI) provides a market for the sale of goods and services to government agencies from persons with disabilities without the advertised bid process under the statutory authority of the Welfare and Institution Code 19403. CARI represents 100 qualified Community Rehabilitation Programs to provide job training and employment opportunities for 3,200 people with disabilities on CARI contracts statewide.
CARI is driven to provide Californians with disabilities employment opportunities by assisting community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) in procuring contracts through business development. Our primary strategy is to combine the purchasing power of government entities with the commodity/service expertise of the nonprofit sector. Some like to refer to this as “government at its best.”
Negotiated purchasing through CARI provides tremendous potential for employing persons with disabilities because the entrepreneurial spirit is combined with good business practices. No individuals are more in need of employment opportunities than persons with disabilities. Three out of four persons with disabilities are unemployed (Harris Poll, 2001). The community vocational rehabilitation industry arose to meet the employment and training needs of those individuals. Ultimately, CRPs hope to lose their best workers when they find jobs in the competitive work force.