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September 6, 2013     Cape Gazette
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54 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 - MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE Cape Gazette National blueprint on increasing employment of people with disabilities Markell shares findings, recommendations compiled during yearlong project At the Aug. 2 opening session for the annual meeting of the National Governors Associa- tion, Gov. Jack Markell released a blueprint of findings and recom- mendations compiled during a yearlong project he led as NGA chair to increase hiring of people with disabilities. The document provides a road map for states, businesses and the disabilities community to work together on ways to ad- dress a persistent challenge and take advantage of the valuable skills possessed by this popula- tion. Markell chose the topic realiz- ing governors might be missing a unique opportunity to help businesses with their workforce concerns in a way that would generate broad bipartisan sup- port. Of the estimated 54 million Americans living with a disabil- ity, only 20 percent are employed or seeking employment, com- pared to almost 70 percent of Americans without a disability. "As governors, we know that when barriers prevent a significant segment of our population from participating in our workforce, talent is be- ing wasted and our economic competitiveness suffers," said Markell. "Businesses that are leading in hiring people with dis- abilities understand this effort isn't about charity. As the CEO of Walgreens told us, he wants to have 25 percent of the company's workforce consist of people with disabilities because it's better for his bottom line and in the best interest of his shareholders." Markell's initiative, A Better Bottom Line: Employing Peo- ple with Disabilities, involved gathering information from people with disabilities, other advocates, business leaders, federal agency representatives, state policymakers and research- ers. The NGA organized more than 60 meetings, as well as two roundtables, two sessions at the NGA Winter Meetings in Washington, D.C., and institutes in Pittsburgh and Seattle where people across the country gath- ered to learn and discuss best practices. In presenting the blueprint to fellow governors, Markell said discussions with business- people throughout the initiative affirmed they care about an employee's ability, not his or her disability. Instead of looking to businesses to solve a social ser- vice problem, Markell said states must approach companies by offering to help solve the chal- lenges they face in finding and hiring skilled workers. In addition, businesses are much more likely to buy in to the benefits of employing people with disabilities when they know a peer in the private sector is doing so. Governors must bring business leaderstogether to talk about this topic and provide an opportunity for them to learn from each other. Markell referenced a partner- ship being launched in Delaware that illustrates the potential for putting more people with dis- abilities to work. The state has helped bring together the IT firm CAI and an international or- ganization called Specialisterne, ,:bmoveOcom WE KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD & REACH THE WORLD 34867 W. ISAAC DRIVE, REHOBOTH BEACH $128,900 OWN YOUR OWN LAND & walk or bike to shopping plazas, restaurants, & movie theatre! Minutes to RB & Lewes beaches! 10108 SAWMILL WAY. MILLSBORO $199,500 2010 Townhouse/Condo on Indian River! Like new. 3 bdrm/2 1/2 bath. 1 car garage, unfinished basement ready for finishing! Community pool, playground, and pier! Inventory is Down! It is a Great Time to List! Call me to set an appoinmlent. Jill A. Cicierski, GRI Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 39682 Sunrise Court Bethany Beach. DE 19930 (302) 829-9066 Office (302) 841-2282 Cell jill@thebestbeachsecreLcom ;id. which is dedicated to employ- ment of individuals with autism. CAI, a company that employs thousands of people across the country, is committed to hiring people who have autism for more than 3 percent of its work- force by 2015, recognizing that these individuals are especially qualified for technology roles like software testing, data quality assurance, programming, data mining and data entry. The NGA blueprint provides options for states to align their policies, programs and services for individuals with disabilities in gaining enhanced access into the workforce. "We intentionally Wrote this document as a blueprint to map out practical actions governors. can take, not as a report that will sit on a shelf," said Markell. "It includes concrete examples for state p61icymakers as they work to advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities, which is a goal that every governor can support." Why Go Anywhere Else? When it comes to meeting your financial goals, you really only need to see one person. At Edward Jones, we strive to meet all your financial services needs while providing exceptional personalized service. Because weserve individual investors and business owners, all of our energy and resources are dedicated to helping you reach your long-term financial goals. That's why we live and work in your community. We meet with you face-to-face to discuss the key steps to creating your financial strategy. You talk, we listen, and we get to know you. Annuities Education Savings Strategies Equities Individual Retirement Accounts Insurance Mutual Funds Retirement Plan Rollovers and Consolidation For more information or to schedule a complimentary financial review, call or stop by today. Janet R Maher, AAMS* Financial Advisor 28322 Lewes Georgetown Hwy Unit 5 Milton. DE 19968 302-684-5946 www.edwardjones.com Member SIPC