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People WORK for many reasons.
For some, it provides a sense of self or meaning in one's life; for others it is the social context of meeting and associating with others in a common effort or goal; and for still others, it is the means by which to gain status, either personal or economic, which allows for choice and discretion in determining one's "life quality."


When asked “What makes life good?” almost all people identify the same core components. While different people will use different words to describe a component or more highly value one component over another, the list of components is consistently the same:

  • Freedom of choice and ease of access to the community;
  • Positive, interdependent relationships with family and friends;
  • A safe, comfortable home in a safe neighborhood;
  • Being respected, included in and a member of your culture and community;
  • Good health and access to good health care; and
  • Enjoying one’s personal choice of hobbies, recreation and leisure activities;
  • Satisfying employment and the economic benefits of contributing through work.

Employment First Georgia (EFG) is a statewide resource promoting innovative, customized employment practice. Each individual will be supported to pursue his or her own unique path to work, a career, or his or her contribution to participation in community life. EFG provides technical assistance and consultation to individuals and their “team” (family, job coach, etc.)


“Given the choice between work and idleness, people will almost always choose work.
Regardless of our station in life, the conditions of our bodies and minds, or the amount of money in our bank accounts, the need to work remains one of our strongest drives.
Work is central to our lives, and as such, gives a large measure of structure to our days.
Common sense tells us that we feel better about ourselves when we are working regularly.”
                                                                                      --- Robert Drake, M.D., PhD

Robert E. Drake, MD, Ph.D. is the Andrew Thomson Professor of Psychiatry and Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and the Director of the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center. He has been at Dartmouth for over 20 years, developing and evaluating community-based programs for persons with severe mental disorders. He is well known for his work in psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health services research. Contact him at: New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, 2 Whipple Place, Suite 202, Lebanon, NH 03766. (Phone: 603-448- 0126, Fax: 603-448-0129, email

How do you diversify your workforce?
Check out the field guide at