Entrepreneur’s come in many forms, and they have many passions that inspire and drive them to create. Today, we’re highlighting Pueblo Diversified Industries, for the entrepreneurial spirit that has led their growth and mission for the past 50 years.

Pueblo Diversified Industries (PDI), started in 1963 when two brave families who both had children diagnosed with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) shocked the Pueblo community by stating their children should have the same civil and legal rights to participate in the community as everyone else’s children.

Thanks to the community support that followed this push, Pueblo Diversified Industries (PDI) was formed and incorporated in 1967. PDI’s mission is to find authentic work, gained through contracts with various area businesses, for people with IDD. PDI has evolved from supporting 30 people with IDD to now serving more than 170 persons in the Pikes Peak Region.

PDI Team photos

So how does a well-established organization have an entrepreneurial spirit? Without losing the passion for service which has been PDI’s cornerstone for over 50 years, they recently applied for and received accreditation through The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) which provides accreditation and training services for organizations dedicated to excellence in person-centered services.

Additionally, the PDI board adopted new language to describe the widely accepted label of Intellectual and Developmental Disability. This new term, “Diverse Ability”, is intended to help facilitate community awareness around a population of people who are often overlooked.  Diverse Ability is not intended to replace the existing IDD language, however PDI believes that the new term levels the playing field with most of the general population who innately understands their own limitations.

PDI is undergoing an evolution that will move the 50-year-old company past subsistence and into wild success; not simply for the sake of the company but for those who the company supports and serves.  To this end, a new venture is being formulated, one based in the community and able to employ anyone who has a passion for the arts. This new company is a Cooperative offering ownership for every employee regardless of ability; it can be found at www.projectinspire.community.

PDI continues to create pathways for individuals with diverse abilities to thrive through informed choices, meaningful education and employment opportunities, premier residential services, and dynamic social opportunities. Doing this may mean partnerships with community employers, creating business platforms where people of any ability can get their foot in the door for a real interview, or developing new business ventures- the opportunities are endless and PDI is here to ensure that they are all explored.

“I challenge every reader to invest both your heart and your mind into those with diverse abilities who are around you. Sometimes that’s hard to navigate, but it is as easy as considering someone with diverse abilities the same as you would consider someone who is typically abled. Your life will be richer for it – I promise.” - Dave Pump, CEO of Pueblo Diversified Industries.