In honor of our country’s veterans, this month EARN spotlights employers who have demonstrated their commitment to the inclusion and reintegration of veterans with disabilities into the workforce. Both Qualcomm and BAE Systems actively promote the employment of wounded warriors by developing programs and establishing resources and opportunities for the recruitment, hiring, and retention of veterans with disabilities.
HIRING OUR HEROES: QUALCOMM AND BAE SYSTEMS HONOR SERVICE MEMBERS
Qualcomm’s Wounded Warrior Project is just one example of the company’s commitment to welcoming home our military heroes. Over the course of eleven weeks, Qualcomm partnered with the Navy Military base and developed a corporate assimilation program, inviting 10 active-duty injured military persons to be paired with mentors who were military veterans. During the program each Warrior was hired as a temporary employee and received technical skills training, professional development guidance, and participated in employment and hiring workshops.
The Warrior Integration Program at BAE Systems seeks to facilitate the employment and reintegration of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and have acquired disabilities as a result of their service. James Rodriguez, who created the program in 2009, discusses the program’s significant impact on the veteran workforce at BAE and the company’s commitment to employing veterans.
G.I. JOBS MAGAZINE RELEASES LIST OF TOP MILITARY FRIENDLY EMPLOYERS
The G.I. Jobs Magazine just released its tenth annual Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list on its new digital site, www.MilitaryFriendly.com. The ranking is based on a comprehensive survey of over one hundred questions, overseen by an independent advisory board of industry experts. The pool of companies eligible for the list is approximately 5,000 (private sector companies with annual revenues over $500 million). Only 2% of all eligible companies make the annual list of 100. Read more here. Click to view the full list.
VETERANS RESOURCES AT EARN AND EFEDLINK.ORG
In honor of our country’s veterans, EARN continues to strive to increase the employment of wounded warriors and proudly shares the efforts of employers who have demonstrated their commitment to the inclusion and reintegration of veterans with disabilities into the workforce. EARN has a wide range of resources for employing veterans, including archived webinars and quick reference guides. Federal employees can find veterans resources at www.eFedLink.org, EARN’s federal sector sister-site, including the video series “Grow Success,” which features information on creating accountability and measurement systems to help federal agencies meet or exceed hiring and retention goals.
HALF IN TEN RELEASES FACT SHEET ON POVERTY AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Center for American Progress has released their Half In Ten Annual Report, which was jointly developed with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD). The report tracks the nation’s and each state’s progress toward diminishing poverty and expanding opportunity for all. The report states that nearly one in five Americans has a disability, representing 57 million Americans. Disability is a group that any person, regardless of age, economic status, or ethnicity may join, and includes people with physical, intellectual, mental, and developmental disabilities. Among other findings, the report’s disability fact sheet illustrates that more than half of all homeless veterans have disabilities.
STARBUCKS ANNOUNCES PLAN TO HIRE MILITARY VETERANS
Starbucks has announced a plan to hire at least 10,000 military veterans and active-duty spouses over the next five years. The announcement coincides with a massive drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan, meaning more than a million people will leave the military and transition to civilian life in the next few years. “This is, in my view,is not charity or philanthropy,” said Chief Executive Howard Schultz, “this is good business.” Click for more information.
MILITARY PERSONNEL AND VETERANS FIND SUCCESS AT CORNELL
Veterans and military personnel find opportunities to contribute their leadership and technical skills, take advantage of professional and work/life benefits specific to their needs, and advance the greater good at Cornell University. Cornell was awarded the 2013 Work Life Legacy Military Award for its support of veterans and military personnel by the Families and Work Institute. Click to read more.
NEW RESOURCES FOR SERVING VETERANS FROM WORKFORCE3 ONE
A new Veterans’ Priority resource page is available on Workforce3 One that provides one-stop information on veterans programs, policies and initiatives throughout the public workforce system, including announcements, policies, webinars, and other resources relevant to the community of professionals who assist veterans in achieving their employment goals. Click for more information.
*In October 2013, the employment rate of people 16-64 years of age was 26.9% for persons with disabilities compared with 70.7% for persons without a disability. The gap between the employment rate of persons of 16-64 years of age with and without disabilities was 43.8%, not seasonally adjusted.
RULES FOR HIRING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
Barbara Otto, CEO of Think Beyond the Label’s Health & Disability Advocates, answers common diversity hiring questions and discusses what questions employers can ask and what policies apply when recruiting jobseekers with disabilities.
NYS COURT: INDEFINITE LEAVE OF ABSENCE MAY BE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION
Last month, the New York State Court of Appeals held that an indefinite leave of absence may be a reasonable accommodation under a New York City ordinance, unless an employer can show that the indefinite leave would cause an undue hardship. The court’s ruling changes the dynamics by moving the burden to the employer to establish an undue hardship defense. Federal courts across the country have repeatedly held that indefinite leave is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, but New York’s holding may be a sign of things to come in other employee-friendly jurisdictions. Read more here.
NCD RELEASES ANNUAL SURVEY OF FEDERAL DISABILITY POLICY
The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released its annual report on federal disability policy. “Strength in Our Differences” looks at the nation’s progress in making sure that Americans with disabilities have equal opportunities, independent living options, full participation and economic self-sufficiency. Click to view the survey.
FCC ISSUES VIDEO PROGRAMMING RULE REQUIRING DEVICE ACCESSIBILITY
On Oct. 31, the Federal Communications Commission issued a rule requiring video equipment manufacturers and producers of connect software to ensure that video programming navigation devices are more easily accessed by individuals who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing. The regulations include devices used for over-the-top streaming to televisions, including game consoles and set-top boxes, as well as tablets and other mobile devices. Read more here.
OFCCEP DIRECTOR SHIU DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT CONFERENCE
Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), delivered the keynote address at the “Innovative Research on Employer Practices: Improving Employment for People with Disabilities” state of the science conference on October 22 in Washington, D.C. The two-day conference highlighted research findings from the Employer Practices Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (EPRRTC) at Cornell University ILR School’s Employment and Disability Institute. The EPRRTC is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Click to read more.
BECAUSE WE ARE EQUAL TO THE TASK: EMPLOYERS SHARE NDEAM ACTIVITIES
In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), EARN asked employers to share their plans for marking this annual observance. Several organizations submitted scheduled activities and events to celebrate NDEAM and help raise awareness about disability and employment issues:
California Department of Health Care Services: Eric L. Nelson, Disproportionate Share Hospital Unit Chief, shared that his agency held a 90-minute symposium, a 25-minute trivia game with prizes, a video-driven discussion exercise, and a question and answer session with a panel of individuals with disabilities answering written questions from the audience. The agency plans to develop a video of the panel discussion.
USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station: Dr. Susan Stevens Hummel, Research Forester, shared that her organization planned to promote NDEAM via social media and by sending weekly email bulletins to employees on various disability-focused themes.
If you would like to share how your company or organization celebrated NDEAM, please contact us and we will include your information in an upcoming newsletter!
EARN is funded by the
U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy