In this section of the Employer Assistance and Resource Network monthly newsletter, EARN recognizes employers’ successful practices for outreach, recruitment, hiring, and accommodating workers with disabilities. EARN invites employers who would like to highlight their effective practices in employing people with disabilities to submit articles for future issues of the EARN newsletter. This month, EARN spotlights Kirtland Air Force Base for developing a relationship with the New Mexico Business Leadership Network to assist in the recruitment of qualified employees with disabilities for optimal diversity and demographic representation in its workforce.
COLLABORATING FOR OPTIMAL DIVERSITY
Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB), located in Albuquerque, NM, employs over 25,000 people, including over 11,000 individuals who work in non-federal and civilian contractor positions. In response to the signing of Executive Order 13548 in 2010, KAFB developed a strategy action plan in collaboration with their newly-formed Disability Advisory Working Group (DAWG.)
KAFB’s Strategic Hiring Plan was launched in February 2011 and was attended by job seekers with disabilities and area service providers, and also included the Federal Executive Board leadership. The interaction resulted in increased job applications to KAFB and other Federal agencies, fostered an open-door policy for seeking guidance from Federal hiring representatives, and contributed to the development of new relationships and a better understanding of the federal application process including the Schedule A Hiring Authority.
These prolific events also led to a pilot project for establishing a disability-focused ERG at Kirtland called “The Kirtland Inclusion Team.” Today, KIT is a critical recruitment tool for KAFB that has positively impacted cost and time variables throughout KAFB, and is a vital part of a toolkit to educate and inform hiring managers on policies and initiatives.
NORTHEAST ADA CENTER OFFERS ONLINE EMPLOYMENT TUTORIAL
A new tutorial from the Northeast ADA center designed specifically for employers is now available. The tutorial consists of ten segments that touch upon legal, human, and practical issues around building disability inclusive workplaces. Each topic is presented with a description of why it is important, a self-assessment, and some suggested strategies for increasing your skills. Employer topics include workforce trends; diversity practices; HR strategies; non-obvious disabilities in the workplace; hiring practices; reasonable accommodation; connecting to customers; maintaining a disability-inclusive workforce; legal Issues; and finding and recruiting talented people with disabilities. Click here to access to the Employer Tutorial.
CAP DEDICATES NOVEMBER TO VETERANS DAY
For the entire month, the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) is highlighting service member related resources and apps. Download the CAP app to learn more about CAP’s featured Wounded Service member resources. A featured app will be showcased each Wednesday! Download CAP’s Desktop Calendar for your computer for the month of November! CAP provides free assistive technology to help wounded Service members regain independence. CAP recognizes the tremendous sacrifices made by Service members and their families for our country.
NDEAM AT FDA: FLEXIBILITY, INNOVATION IS KEY
As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez gave remarks at a Food and Drug Administration event on Oct. 23. “On a daily basis, people with disabilities must think creatively about how to solve problems and accomplish tasks,” she said. “In the workplace, this translates into innovative thinking and varied approaches to confronting challenges and achieving success — in other words, exactly the type of people that I know I want working for the FDA. The very nature of your mission requires you to be flexible and innovative.” Click here to read more.
REGIONAL OFFICES HONORED FOR DISABILITY HIRING
The Philadelphia and Boston/New York regional offices of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management were honored for providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities over the last two years, efforts that have resulted in three individuals being hired in administrative positions in both regions. Click here for more information.
JAN INTRODUCES NEW SOAR ACCOMMODATION WIDGET
The Searchable Online Accommodation Resource, or SOAR, is designed to let users explore various accommodation options for people with disabilities in work and educational settings. The SOAR widget is now available for download to your website. Click here to download the widget.
JOBS OUTLOOK IMPROVES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
For the second month in a row, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities fell. Government statistics show that the jobless rate hit 12.9 percent in October, down from 13.5 percent the previous month. Click here to read more.
EARN TA CENTER TO OBSERVE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
In recognition of Thanksgiving, the Employer Assistance and Resource Center technical assistance line will be closed on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23. Our resources will remain available 24/7 online at www.AskEARN.org. EARN will re-open on Monday, November 26. Happy Thanksgiving!
*In October 2012, the employment rate of people 16-64 years of age was 28.4% for persons with disabilities compared with 71.0% for persons without a disability. The gap between the employment rate of persons of 16-64 years of age with and without disabilities was 42.6%, not seasonally adjusted.
U.S. EMPLOYERS ENCOURAGED TO PUT MILITARY HEROES TO WORK
In a statement released November 8, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis honored Veterans Day by encouraging U.S. employers to make a commitment to hiring veterans. Solis said the Department of Labor will help over one million transitioning service members find jobs over the next five years, as well as assist with job search strategies and resume writing. “Those who fight to protect our freedoms abroad should not have to fight for jobs when they come home,” Solis said. “ I encourage employers to make the commitment to put our veterans to work for them. It’s an act of patriotism that’s good for our country and good for their bottom line.” Click here to read more.
‘GET SKILLS TO WORK’ COALITION ADDRESSES SKILLS GAP, VETERANS TRAINING
A reported 600,000 high-tech manufacturing jobs remain open in the U.S. and more than 82% of manufacturers report they cannot find people to fill their skilled production jobs. Meanwhile, one million veterans are expected to exit the armed forces over the next four years and will be transitioning to civilian careers. In response to this, four major American manufacturers have announced the creation of a coalition to fund and encourage military veterans to get the training needed to fill the manufacturing jobs shortage. The Get Skills to Work coalition will focus on accelerating skills training for U.S. veterans; helping veterans and employers translate military skills to advanced manufacturing jobs; and empowering employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans. It will be managed by the Manufacturing Institute and supported through financial and in-kind commitments from GE, Alcoa Inc., Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Click here to read more.
EMPLOYER RESOURCES IN HONOR OF VETERANS
In honor of veterans this November, EARN would like to share a variety of resources for employers seeking to recruit, hire, and retain qualified veterans with disabilities: “Beyond Yellow Ribbons: Creating Disability Inclusive Workplaces for Recently Returned Veterans with Disabilities,” a webinar that originally aired in October as part of EARN’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month webinar series, is archived and available for viewing. The presentation reviews statistics about returning veterans, discusses studies on key employment-related issues and misperceptions about veterans with disabilities, and lists steps employers can take to ensure veterans with disabilities are welcomed into the workforce. Click here to view the webinar.
You don’t have to serve in the military to understand the importance and impact of military service in the private sector, according to a recent article in Forbes Magazine by Meghan M. Biro. According to Biro, military training provides veterans with highly valued skills that other job applicants may lack, such as leadership, grace under pressure, being performance and results-oriented, self-sacrifice, and communication and goal-setting. By recognizing these skills for their value, we can acknowledge and honor our veterans’ service and take action by welcoming veterans back into the civilian world with honor, dignity, and paying jobs. Click here to read more about hiring veterans.
DISABILITY.GOV LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN EMPHASIZING DISABILITY AS A UNIVERSAL LINK
The Disability.gov website has launched “What’s Your Connection?” to commemorate the site’s 10th anniversary. The initiative emphasizes that disability is a natural part of the human experience and focuses on the integral role people with disabilities play in American society. Disability.gov is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in collaboration with 21 federal agency partners. Click here to read more.
USBLN ANNOUNCES 2012 LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNERS
The US Business Leadership Network last month announced the winners of its 2012 Annual Leadership Awards. The awards are given to companies and organizations that exhibit leading practices in disability diversity in the workplace and the marketplace. The winners of the 2012 awards include Walgreens Co. for Employer of the Year and Northrop Grumman Co. for Supply Chain Diversity. Click here to read more.
EARN is funded by the
U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy