Ken’s Krew began in 1997 as the pioneering vision of a group of parents and children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Concerned that their children would find it difficult to obtain satisfactory employment, the parents explored various solutions to this problem.
Home Depot becomes Founding Sponsor
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's 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 neurodevelopmental disabilities.
The Home Depot Foundation announced a 3 year, $1M grant to support expansion of the Ken’s Krew program. This $1M grant was matched by Ken Langone, who also 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 neurodevelopmental 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, have enabled them to succeed in the workplace and to live more independent and fulfilling lives.
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.
Today, Ken's Krew operates in 9 states and 153 Home Depot stores.
Meet The Ken's Krew Team
Ken’s Krew delivers a differentiated approach to providing employment opportunities to individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The Ken’s Krew staff works with individuals, their families, employers, and local communities to ensure success and are responsible for the operations of the organization.
Director of Vocational Training
The Ken’s Krew Vocational Coordinators are responsible for one-on-one intensive training, job matching, and continuous education to the individuals and are responsible for supporting the store management teams with training and strategies for working with individuals with disabilities.
The Ken’s Krew Board of Directors are a group of passionate leaders helping to steer the direction of the organization.