This week, Delaware Governor Jack Markell was named Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA). The Governor announced that during his year-long term, his Chair’s initiative will be increasing employment among individuals with disabilities. He will encourage state governments to join with public and private sector employers to develop and build out a blueprint for the hiring, retention and promotion of individuals with disabilities in order to make a meaningful difference.
According to the Department of Labor, only 17.8 percent of Americans with disabilities were employed in 2011 – compared to 63.8 percent of those with no disability. Whether an individual is born with a disability, or acquires one later in life, individuals with disabilities have much to contribute and represent a large, qualified, and untapped workforce. We should not forget that these statistics also include veterans with disabilities and wounded warriors – who are owed a debt of gratitude and support for their honorable service and sacrifice.
Employing individuals with disabilities makes more than good social sense. It makes good economic sense – as previously unemployed individuals move from consumers of social services to become contributing members of their communities. For more information, please visit: http://statesideassoc.wordpress.com/