Saturday, September 14, 2013

National Governors Association, Disabilities and the Workforce

KRA Corporation highlighted the growing debate around the issue of disabled individuals in the workforce in a previous post, and it has again been the subject of discussion at a high level this time at the 105th National Governors Association (NGA) in Milwaukee, WI.

Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, touted the 3-day meeting as “an opportunity to share experiences and discuss critical issues facing our states” where “governors are focused on finding solutions to our most pressing challenges.” One of those “pressing challenges” was disabilities in the workforce and was highlighted through the initiative of the meeting’s Chair, Delaware Governor Jack Markell.

Looking at individuals with intellectual and other significant disabilities and the employment challenges they encounter, the initiative—A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities“was designed to raise awareness about how the untapped talents of people with disabilities can contribute to a business’s bottom line.”

Markell, speaking on the National Governor's Association website, posited this about his initiative:

“Because government, business, the general public, individuals with disabilities and their families all stand to benefit from increased employment of people with disabilities, all have a role and shared responsibility in reaching this goal.”

Complete with A Blueprint for Governors, the Delaware governor’s initiative outlines practical and experiential-based directions for governors to adopt in advancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

In Markell’s words, he believes that:

A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities looks at ways both state government and businesses can partner to bring opportunities to individuals with disabilities in the competitive labor market.”

Governor Markell said this In speaking about individuals with disabilities in the workforce: “We’re making strides on this front, but the work is far from over. I look forward to the discussions we’ll be having on this topic this weekend.”

We have had the privilege of assisting the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in numerous event management, information dissemination, and technical assistance initiatives, and KRA Corporation’s efforts on the Developmental Disabilities Program Resources Management Project culminated in the Secretary’s Outstanding Distinguished Services Award.

Governor Markell’s initiative and his assertion of “together, we can ensure that individuals with disabilities will have opportunities for a brighter future” is a position that KRA Corporation remains hopeful will garner the attention and support it is due and that the returning governors will employ some of his insights.

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