Ken’s Krew provides job placement, training, and support for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities in competitive employment. Every individual deserves the opportunity to enter the workforce, earn a fair wage, and reach their full potential.
Ken's Krew, formerly known as Ken's Kids, Inc., began in 1997 as the pioneering vision of a group of parents of children with cognitive disabilities. Concerned that their children would find it difficult to obtain satisfactory employment, the parents explored various solutions to this problem.
Soon after, Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone stepped in with an offer to provide opportunities for employment at The Home Depot in Philadelphia for individuals whose abilities and skills matched Home Depot job needs. With this offer, the parents launched the pilot program and named it "Ken's Kids" in honor of Ken Langone. They pledged to provide the assessment, training and support that would be needed for their placements to be successful.
Financial support from Mr. Langone and others enabled the program to hire full time vocational coaches to train and monitor participants throughout their employment experience. Parents Michael and Connie Solomon and Karen LaPera directed the development of the program model, which has proven to be a winning formula for workplace success for people with cognitive disabilities.
In 2008, The Home Depot Foundation announced a 3 year, $1 million grant to support expansion of the Ken's Krew program. This $1 million grant was matched by Ken Langone. Mr. Langone gave an additional $250,000 to the organization through his retiring director charitable donation package.
Over the past 21 years, Ken's Krew has assisted over 720 individuals with cognitive disabilities in their transition from students to valued, productive, and proud employees. The efforts of these individuals, along with their parents, vocational coaches and the management and associates of their stores, has enabled them to succeed in the workplace and to live more independent and fulfilling lives.
Today, Ken's Krew operates in 9 states and 153 Home Depot stores. In 2007, CVS Caremark joined Ken's Krew as an employment partner and provides employment in 14 stores. Fairway Market partnered with Kens Krew in 2011, Wegmans in 2012, and Boscov's in 2013.