e-Stewards Announces Employment Benefit Program for the Autism Community


Seattle, WA. September 5, 2019. Today, e-Stewards®, the ethical electronics recycling certification program, announced the launch of the e-Stewards ADVANCE+ program. ADVANCE+ is a workforce development program created to provide electronics recycling jobs for the often-overlooked community of people with autism and other disabilities, who have proven to be reliable and productive employees. The ADVANCE+ program will help prepare and match e-Stewards recyclers with this outstanding workforce.

Today one in five Americans is diagnosed with a disability, yet less than 20% participates in the US labor force. People with autism, a population representing 1 in 59 children in the US, struggle with even higher levels of unemployment despite their demonstrated aptitudes for most scopes of work involved in the recycling of electronics.

In 2020, the ADVANCE+ program, based on the successful e-Stewards Certified Blue Star Recyclers (Denver, CO) model, will provide training for 10 certified e-Stewards Recyclers to become ADVANCE+ e-Stewards, and thus providing job opportunities for people with autism and other disabilities. Those chosen for the program will receive a comprehensive training program from the nationally recognized expert James Emmett & Company, who has successfully developed workforce inclusion programs for Walgreens, Office Depot, Pepsico, and Best Buy.

“In our experience, people with autism and other disabilities represent a labor solution for our industry, which has struggled to acquire and retain entry level workers. For over ten years our employees have posted near-perfect occupational metrics for attendance, productivity, retention, and safety.” said Bill Morris, CEO of Blue Star Recyclers and a member of the e-Stewards Leadership Council.

Starting on October 1, interested e-Stewards Certified recyclers can apply to be a part of the program. Those chosen will be trained in workforce development and integration.The training program, valued at $30,000 each, will cost e-Stewards Recyclers only $2,000, as it is already underwritten by corporate foundation donors. In addition to onsite training, e-Stewards will receive a manual and have access to ongoing mentoring. For-profit recyclers may find they are eligible for government tax benefits.

“We now have a terrific new opportunity to equip the recycling industry with a superlative and uniquely talented workforce while providing new opportunities for meaningful employment for a largely underserved population,” said Bob Akers, e-Stewards Enterprise Director.

ADVANCE+ joins the e-Stewards Digital Equity (eDE) program in offering innovative opportunities for e-Stewards Recyclers to participate in social programs aiding their cities and communities. These programs enhance the e-Stewards bottom line directly while providing the world’s most ethical recyclers, with inspirational narratives and increased visibility.

Note: This program’s name was changed to ADVANCE+ to prevent confusion.

For more information contact:

Bob Akers, e-Stewards Enterprise Director
Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required
+1 (206) 436-8595

About e-Stewards® Certification
The e-Stewards® Standard and Certification identifies and promotes the most ethical and responsible electronics recyclers and refurbishers around the world. e-Stewards Certified Recyclers agree to operate at the highest level of environmental and social responsibility. They will ensure that all residual private data on electronic waste equipment they receive is destroyed and that they will never export any hazardous electronics to developing countries from developed countries. In addition, the highest levels of worker and community protection must be met. Organizations that are e-Stewards Certified are audited yearly by third-party auditors. Performance is further uniquely verified by unannounced inspections and GPS tracking. The e-Stewards program is supported by a network of e-Stewards Enterprise partners, including major corporations, municipalities, nonprofits, and institutions that commit to making best efforts to use e-Stewards Certified Recyclers. For more information on e-Stewards, visit www.e-stewards.org or call +1 (206) 436-8595.