An Inclusive Workforce Is an Essential Part of Economic Recovery: National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The past couple of years businesses and job seekers alike have experienced unprecedented times that have been challenging to navigate. As many industries now face an overall labor shortage, the solution may be something we have been striving for all along – an inclusive workforce. Allowing for varied ideas, contributions, and perspectives, an inclusive workforce gives employers the opportunity to find employees who not only get the job done, but also add value to the company as a whole. Knowing this makes it easy to see why this year’s theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” is so fitting.
Led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy every October, NDEAM aims to bring awareness to and celebrate the many workforce contributions of people with disabilities. Here at employU, we have seen firsthand how passionate, determined, and hardworking our customers are. We have seen them provide solutions for their employers, contribute to a positive company culture, and become employees who are reliable and enthusiastic. Referred to employU’s Transition Youth Program, former customer Hasani didn’t just find the career of his dreams, he also helped fill a labor shortage the manufacturing industry is seeing as a whole. “The hard thing with manufacturing is that there is a lack of interest in the younger generation for trades. So, when you have someone like Hasani, who all he wants to do is work with his hands and build things, those are the types of [interns] you really need to grab onto and foster and train,” explains Crystal of Compsys, an employU business partner. American Electric COO David Yencarelli agrees. The demand for skilled workers is a difficult one to meet, especially now. “There is a shortage of skilled crafter workers in Northeast Florida. employU serves as a pipeline.” And employU customers fill these crucial positions while also achieving a fulfilling career.
Employees with disabilities also offer a valuable point of view and voice that can assist in the creation of workplace solutions. “All of our projects benefit because we have the luxury of having individuals who can lend their thoughts and ideas directly to the program managers,” Justin of Capture ISG tells us. In this way, growth is seen not just in the employees themselves, but within the business as a whole. “…[It] has allowed our staff and programs to grow in new ways,” Justin expands.
Jobseekers and businesses aren’t alone in building an inclusive workforce, however. Many of our community partners assist both parties by bringing awareness and providing resources. Organizations like ADEN, ABLE United, the Unicorn Foundation, and The Able Trust are just a few of our partnering organizations that aid in supporting the growth of a strong workforce that recognizes and utilizes the skills and assets employees with disabilities bring to the table. Building partnerships with like-minded organizations whose missions align so closely with ours is a basic pilar of employU so that we can continue to strengthen the support system in place for customers and businesses.
Though we honor individuals with disabilities and the businesses that foster an inclusive workforce year-round, this month we will be going the extra mile in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness month. Follow us on social media to celebrate along with us! For more on NDEAM visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/initiatives/ndeam
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