OVR Introduces Single-Point-of-Contact “Hiring People with Disabilities How-to Guide”

HARRISBURG – Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley and Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway yesterday, joined by private-sector business leaders and the non-profit community, hosted a roll-out event for the Office for Vocational Rehabilitation’s “Hiring People with Disabilities How-to Guide” for employers.

This public and private sector collaboration is designed to help Pennsylvania businesses in the hiring and retention of people with disabilities and to give them a single point of contact within state government – the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

“A hallmark of the Corbett administration has been to assist people with disabilities to live independent lives,” said Cawley. “The ‘Hiring People with Disabilities How-to Guide’ will make it easier for employers to understand how simple and rewarding hiring people with disabilities can be.”

“This guide introduces businesses and stakeholder organizations to a simple process for recruiting and hiring people with disabilities – a reliable and ready pool of workforce talent,” Hearthway said. “People with disabilities are an underutilized talent pool and make excellent workers.”

The “Hiring People with Disabilities How-to Guide” simplifies the process of hiring a person with a disability by establishing the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation as a      single point of contact with collaborating partners for the hiring and retention of people with disabilities.

From identifying talent, to developing a plan to match people with disabilities to the most appropriate positions within a company, interviewing, hiring, training and evaluating these employees, the guide explains the process and outlines the good business sense of tapping into a resource of candidates who are keenly dedicated, hardworking, and have a great appreciation for the opportunity to work.

Cawley and Hearthway were joined at the event, held at the Dixon University Center in downtown Harrisburg, by Amma Johnson, Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC; Rick Russell, The Hershey Company; Stacy Kyle, PA Business Leadership Network;Jeff Cooper, UCP of Central PA; Steve Suroviec, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; Devon Grant, Governor’s Disability Cabinet; and Dave Kauffman, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

The “Hiring People with Disabilities How-to Guide” was developed by a public-private team consisting of The Hershey Corporation, AHEDD, United Cerebral Palsy of Central Pennsylvania, The Arc of Luzerne County, and the departments of Public Welfare, Education, and Labor & Industry.

The “Hiring People with Disabilities How-to Guide” is available online at dli.state.pa.us.


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