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Employment Programs for Adults with Barriers to Traditional Employment

UPublish story by Crystal Brodzenski

AKRON, OHIO - The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the official theme for October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2012: "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?" The message promotes the benefits of a diverse workforce that includes workers with disabilities, who represent a highly skilled talent pool of people that can help employers remain competitive in today's economy.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau Statistics for June 2012, the vast majority of people with disabilities did not work in 2011. In 2011, only 17.8 percent of persons with a disability were employed. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for persons without a disability was 63.6 percent.

REM Ohio’s Ready2Work program helps adults with barriers to traditional employment, such as mature workers, returning veterans, displaced workers entering new industries or workers with disabilities find meaningful work that matches their interests and helps them live life to the fullest. Our job developers carefully match each applicant with an employer in their home community where they can make a positive contribution and pursue their career goals. After the applicant begins work, we monitor their progress on the jobsite to help them master their new responsibilities and ensure a good fit for the applicant and the employer.

“Hiring workers with special needs improves their quality of life while making a lasting impact in the surrounding community,” said Carla Parker, REM Ohio Executive Director. “Matching applicants who are motivated and ready to work with employers willing to accept them into the workplace is truly a win-win situation for everyone.”

Employers benefit with a diverse workplace and decreased turnover, since workers are already trained and come to the jobsite motivated and ready to work. Additional benefits to the employer also include business growth through productivity, loyalty and a desire to succeed. Some employers may also receive tax benefits for employing workers with disabilities or special needs.

The US Department of Education also reported that workers with disabilities who have completed a vocational program have an 85% retention rate after one year. The benefit is great for hiring workers without disabilities, too, since they receive training in the work of their choosing and are focused on career growth.

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, REM Ohio would like to recognize all of employees and program participants who continue to demonstrate excellence through additional skill building, education and community employment all year long.

If you are an employer in Ohio and would like to discuss the possibility of providing employment to an individual with disabilities or barriers to traditional employment, please call us at 330.644.9730 or visit our website


About REM Ohio

REM Ohio serves adults and youth with varied and often complex needs. Our programs and supports are built around the unique needs of each individual we serve and designed to promote independence, skill development, personal choice and growth. At REM Ohio we are committed to deliver8ing the highest quality services in community-based environments--- empowering the people we serve to live, work, and thrive in their community. REM has established programs in Northeastern Ohio, Eastern Ohio, Central Ohio, Southwest Ohio, and Northwest Ohio.

REM Ohio is a partner of The MENTOR Network, a national network of local health and human services providers.

About REM Ohio Ready2Work Program

When life’s challenges make it harder for people to find and keep jobs that are meaningful to them, REM Ohio’s Ready2Work program helps them get the skills and confidence they need to succeed. We help people from all walks of life find and keep the jobs of their choosing, including: mature workers, people with disabilities, workers who are changing industries, people needing a fresh start after incarceration, veterans with injuries or other challenges. Whatever their employment history, we believe that each person we serve deserves work that helps them live life to the fullest.

We help each person create an Individualized Plan for Employment, which considers their career goals, personal preferences and any special needs they have, such as a disability or training they may need. Because each person we serve is unique, service is always tailored to their needs, providing as little or as much help they want.

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