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Calls to Action

NGA Issues Blueprint for Employing People with Disabilities

MILWAUKEE (August 5, 2013) -- The National Governors Association (NGA) issued A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities, an initiative by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell to raise awareness of the challenges faced by Americans with disabilities, including autism, in finding meaningful employment.

Markell chose the issue as his initiative during his one-year term as NGA chair. The report was issued shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor issued July employment data showing that, while unemployment overall dipped to 7.4 percent, the rate for those with disabilities rose from 14.2 percent to 14.7 percent.

“My initiative was designed to raise awareness about how the untapped talents of people with disabilities can contribute to a business’s bottom line,” Markell said. “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. We’re making strides on this front, but the work is far from over."

The report's "Blueprint for Governors" was issued at the NGA's summer meeting held here. It was created from a series of events and meetings held over the past 12 months and recommends practical steps governors can take to advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities in their states.

The final report issued five action items specific to governors:

  • Incorporating disability employment into a state's workforce development strategy
  • Identifying and supporting businesses that employ people with disabilities
  • Make state government a model employer by increasing the number of employees with disabilities
  • Prepare youth with disabilities for working careers, providing employers with a pipeline of skilled workers
  • Manage limited public resources to best advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities