Press Release: Eurest and ESFM Announce National Employer Partnership with Best Buddies International

June 25, 2024

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 25, 2024) – Eurest and ESFM, Compass Group USA’s foodservice and facilities management divisions for business and industry, today announced a partnership with Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, inclusive living, and family support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This new partnership will foster meaningful job opportunities and enhance workplace inclusion for individuals with IDD.

The partnership focuses on connecting candidates in the Best Buddies Jobs program to a range of entry and mid-level roles across hospitality, food service, administration, janitorial services and facilities management, ultimately creating pathways for individuals with IDD to secure meaningful stable employment and contribute positively to their communities.

“By embracing diversity and providing equitable employment opportunities, we believe we can build stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone feels valued and empowered,” said Natacha Jacque, Eurest/ESFM Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “Our partnership with Best Buddies is especially meaningful as it allows us to change people’s lives in real and tangible ways.”

The goals of the partnership include providing opportunities for qualified, dependable talent, creating pathways for stable employment, expanding the partnership’s reach, offering education and resources to team members and supporting community engagement to promote inclusion locally.

Eurest and ESFM are piloting the job placement initiative in six markets this year, including Seattle, Phoenix, Des Moines, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte. In addition, Eurest and ESFM will support the Best Buddies Friendship Walk events in select markets, enabling the companies to engage their associates and client communities in a larger way through Best Buddies Friendship Walks.

The partnership builds upon the longstanding relationship Compass Group has cultivated with Best Buddies across several other food service divisions.

“Currently, an estimated 84% of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities do not have a paid job in the community, and this is why the Best Buddies Jobs program is so important,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Best Buddies International. “For people with IDD, having a job is life-changing and creates a pathway that provides talented, qualified candidates the ability to secure financial independence and contribute to their communities in a meaningful way.”

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ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL:
 Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, inclusive living, and family support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 3,000 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ 12 formal programs — Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters, Transitions, Inclusive Living and Eunie’s Buddies — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 45 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 1.3 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships.