Workforce Development – The Business Side of Disability

Employment and Disability

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and in the spirit of the occasion, we decided to do something a little different with our blog…

Many times, we have written about employment and disability from the perspective of the job seeker. For this article we will be taking a different approach. Easterseals job coaches often go above and beyond providing individual job supports to our program participants. They visit businesses to speak with owners/managers to discuss how hiring an employee with a disability can help meet their staffing needs. Often hiring managers are unaware of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, let alone that so many people are actively seeking work. That’s why we’re going to discuss why looking to the untapped workforce of people with disabilities to fill your next open position, makes good business sense.

Workers With Disabilities by the Numbers

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Unemployment has dropped to record levels, which has made it difficult for employers to find the right people for the open positions they desperately hope to fill. A perfect opportunity to look toward the 7.7% of New Jersey working-age (21-64) persons who identify as has having a disability. That’s approximately 700,000 people. 10.7% of those individuals were unemployed and actively seeking work. That’s 70,000+ individuals in New Jersey only who are looking to work for New Jersey businesses. Still, there is hesitancy for hiring managers to employee people with disabilities, evidenced by the 35.8% point employment gap between people with disabilities and those without.

There may be many reasons for this disparity, but the number one issue our job coaches have encountered is the stigma that still surrounds workers with disabilities. This stigma often stems from some commonly held misconceptions on the topic. So let’s address take a look at these issues here and now and learn more about why you should start hiring people with disabilities.

The More You Know

  1. Employees with disabilities are reliable, dedicated, and consistently are recorded as having impressive job performance, attendance records, and retention rates.
  2. It’s actually cost-effective to hire people with disabilities because benefits and insurance are sometimes covered by government programs, reducing your company’s overhead. You can also receive a tax credits for working with people with disabilities, helping to off-set any accommodation costs for providing accommodations for an employee.
  3. Employees with disabilities often qualify for training and support programs like those Easterseals provides. This means often the individual you are hiring is either already trained in their job task, or the training you would normally pay for, instead is provided by Easterseals rather than coming out of your budget.
  4. There is plenty of accessible technology available today which allows integration into the workplace possible. Everything from screen readers to accessible phone applications allow for many employees with disabilities to accomplish job tasks you may not have initially thought was possible for them.

These points may have dispelled some of the reservations you may have about hiring a person with a disability, but if you still have questions, let us know! Our workforce development team is always open to meeting with business leaders to discuss how we can work together to help solve your staffing issues.

Also, keep an eye out for our upcoming National Disability Employment Awareness Month highlights, coming this October.

Success Story: Mature Worker Goes From Unemployed to a Six-Figure Salary

Mature Workers

It’s a line we hear all too often from hucksters, schemers, and con-men:

“You can go from rags to riches by buying my book and learning my money making secrets!”

They make promises of earning a six-figure salary in 6 months if you give them your money and listen to their advice. We of course know these are scams. But what if I told you I had a story about someone who enrolled in an Easterseals New Jersey program, spent $0 to do so, and ended up leaving the program with a $100,000 salary for a 40/hr. a week job – in under six months? Would you believe me? You should.

Read moreSuccess Story: Mature Worker Goes From Unemployed to a Six-Figure Salary

Untapped Workforce? It’s Time to Start Hiring People with Disabilities

Untapped Workforce of People with Disabilities

People with Disabilities: The Untapped Workforce

In America today, we have a strong economy and unemployment is at an all-time-low. Companies are hiring, and have even expressed difficulty filling all their open positions. Now is the perfect time to start offering these employment opportunities to people with disabilities and special needs.

There is an unfounded misconception (emphasis on MISconception) that people with disabilities cannot work effectively.

Read moreUntapped Workforce? It’s Time to Start Hiring People with Disabilities

How Job Coaches Are Helping People Start Careers And Keep Them

A Professional Perspective Through the Eyes of Job Coach

The role of a job coach is more than just finding jobs for individuals with disabilities. A job coach (formally known as an Employment Specialist) provides a specialized type of mentorship intended to improve self-advocacy, employability skills, and work culture behavior. In short, we help people get jobs AND keep them. It’s one thing to land a job, it’s another entirely to maintain a high-level of work productivity that will lead to long-term employment and advancement. That’s why

Read moreHow Job Coaches Are Helping People Start Careers And Keep Them

Employment First In New Jersey – What’s It Mean and How Can It Help You?

Employment First - New Jersey Gets to Work

First Employment – Disability Second

Employment First - New JerseyIn April of 2012, Governor Chris Christie declared New Jersey an Employment First state. With this simple declaration, New Jersey became a part of a national movement that is “centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life.” (Via Departement of Labor) This urges local publicly-financed systems to adjust their programs and policies to promote integrated, competitive employment opportunities for people with disabilities and special needs.

Phew. That was a lot of three-syllable-words.

In plain-speak though, what does it all mean? It means

Read moreEmployment First In New Jersey – What’s It Mean and How Can It Help You?

Employment and Disability: New Jersey at Work

Words having to do with employment

by Erin Jerome

Employment First for People with Disabilities

It has been four years since Governor Chris Christie announced New Jersey’s involvement with Employment First, a national movement aiming to make integrated employment a priority for people of all abilities. As new policies and programs are rolled out to make jobs more accessible, we are challenged to approach new opportunities with a marked change in philosophy: that people with disabilities

Read moreEmployment and Disability: New Jersey at Work

Transition to Graduation – What’s Next?

Three Paths Well Traveled

Transition woodland pathsSummer is almost here and as many students with disabilities are either graduating or seeing their peers graduate from high school they may be asking themselves, “What’s next?” That’s why we’ve asked Margaret Gilbride, JD, CT to be our guest blogger

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The Greatest Thing about Having a Child with Special Needs

Eric Packages Items at the Work Center

A Proud Father Speaks About Special Needs

Last month, we spoke about different steps you could be taking to best manage your loved one’s disability. This month, we’d like to focus on the bond that forms between a parent and a child with special needs. That’s why we sat down with Harold Finkel, retired engineer, Easter Seals volunteer, and parent of a child with special needs to ask him about

Read moreThe Greatest Thing about Having a Child with Special Needs

Employment Tips For Individuals With Special Needs and Disabilities

IMG_1344Whether you are an individual living with a disability or special need, or if you are a parent/caregiver of a special needs child, you have probably thought about what opportunities are available for young adults with disabilities after high school.  Many individuals, parents, and caregivers may not know what is next when it comes to planning for adulthood, however, one option, is to develop skills that can be used in the community that can be applied to a job.

Read moreEmployment Tips For Individuals With Special Needs and Disabilities