Golden Key Awards Honor Local Businesses for Hiring Utahns with Disabilities



In a strong enconomy, one of the greatest challenges is a tight labor market. Many employers are seeking talent in different ways. The 44th annual Golden Key Awards honored six recipients who have made an effort to hiring people with disabilities, and help them develop the skills they need for success.


Four local businesses, a state agency and an advocate for people with disabilities were honored for their support in hiring and promoting individuals with disabilities, including veterans, in the workplace. Award recipients were nominated for providing accommodations, training employees and committing to disability inclusion.


The Utah Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the Department of Workforce Services’ Utah State Office of Rehabilitation hosted the event with community parters to highlight businesses working with people in the community who have disabilities.


Thomas Paneck, the CEO of Guiding Eyes was the keynote speaker at the event, and shared his thoughts on supporting individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Guiding Eyes is a non-profit company that trains guide dogs based on individual needs. Paneck himself is blind, and understands the difference support from co-workers and supervisors can make by supporting individuals with disabilities.


Utah Lieutenant Governor, Spencer J. Cox, also spoke at the awards ceremony and shared his thoughts on supporting individuals with disabilities.


The following received awards for their outstanding work with people with disabilities in the community:

  • Goldman Sachs, large-size business
  • Lin's Fresh Market, medium-size busines
  • Get Air Hang Time, small-size business
  • Trevor Buit, Ace Award
  • Utah Department of Administrative Services, ASAP Award
  • Express Employment Professionals, Freedom Award


Large-size Business Award: Goldman Sachs makes it a priority to hire Utahns with disabilities and also supports local students with disabilities by hosting a Transition Mentoring Day at their office. They focus on the individual, rather than the disability. The award was specifically for the Salt Lake City location.