A message from Lorie Sandaine, CESP; Director of Employment Services

As I reflect on The Opportunity Tree’s creation of SEEDS (Supported Employment: Expect. Develop. Support.), I am filled with a sense of pride and purpose. This initiative represents more than just a transformation of our organization; it signifies a pivotal shift in the narrative around employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It’s a cause deeply personal to me, and I invite you to be a part of it.

At the heart of SEEDS is our commitment to the ‘Employment First’ philosophy. This concept goes beyond mere rhetoric; it embodies our dedication to ensuring that individuals with I/DD have equal opportunities to work in their communities, contributing their talents alongside others, with equitable pay. For far too long, a significant gap has existed in how employment services are provided to people with I/DD. SEEDS is our bold response to change this narrative.

Why is this so important, you ask? Employment is more than just holding a job; it represents dignity, equality, and the fundamental right to contribute to society in a meaningful way. Through SEEDS, we aim to ensure that our Members earn not just a paycheck but also gain the respect and recognition they deserve for their abilities.

However, we can’t embark on this journey alone. We are in search of forward-thinking employers who are ready to embrace diversity and inclusivity in their workforce. We need partners who recognize and value the potential in every individual, regardless of their abilities. If you’re an employer ready to make a real difference, we encourage you to reach out. Your participation is crucial.

And to the job seekers with I/DD – your skills, dreams, and aspirations are important to us. SEEDS is here to guide and support you at every step, from finding the right job to excelling in it. This is your time to shine and show the world what you’re capable of.

Together, we have the power to create a community where employment is not only inclusive and fair but also deeply rewarding for everyone involved.  If you’re as excited about this as I am, connect with us. Let’s not just talk about Employment First; let’s bring it to life through action.


Lorie Sandaine, CESP

Our Locations


3146 E. Windsor Ave.

Phoenix, AZ 85008

Casa Grande

209 W. 1st St.

Casa Grande, AZ 85122


328 W. Western Ave.

Avondale, AZ 85323


19756 North Maricopa Rd.

Suites #108 & 109

Maricopa, AZ 85139

Campus Hours: 

Monday – Friday – 8 AM – 6 PM

The Opportunity Tree is closed on federal holidays. 

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