EARN Newsletter: January 2022
National Mentoring Month, New Case Studies and More!
EARN in Action
Celebrating National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month, an annual celebration highlighting the importance of mentoring young people, both personally and professionally. While career mentoring can help promote workplace success for many employees, it may be especially beneficial for people with disabilities. It can also benefit employers by boosting retention and workforce inclusion. EARN’s Workplace Mentoring Playbook provides key information for employers interested in developing and growing disability-inclusive mentoring initiatives.
New Talent Case Study: Ethan Och
A new EARN case study shares the employment journey of Ethan Och, a 24-year-old from Swanville, MN who develops satellite mission planning software for the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC). Through his participation in Disability:IN’s NextGen Leader Initiatives, Ethan learned valuable career planning skills, including networking. This led to securing a job at NGC and achieving his goal of working in the aerospace engineering field. Ethan, who has spinal muscular atrophy, was attracted to NGC’s inclusive and flexible workplace culture, which allows him to work remotely and receive workplace accommodations.
PepsiCo’s Disability-Inclusive Pandemic Response
EARN’s new video case study series spotlights PepsiCo’s efforts to create more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workplaces. The videos illustrate the emphasis PepsiCo has put on employee mental health and workplace safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional topics addressed in the videos include the important role employee resource groups (ERGs) play in workforce inclusion and how virtual trainings can help ensure effective recruiting and hiring of people with disabilities.
Disability Employment in the News
Celebrating MLK Day with HIRE
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, held each year on the third Monday in January, honors the legacy of the civil rights leader’s life and work. In celebration, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have launched the Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE). HIRE will work to advance equal employment opportunity and provide access to good jobs for workers from underrepresented communities, including people with disabilities. OFCCP and EEOC hosted a virtual public roundtable on January 19, 2022 to commemorate MLK Day and launch the initiative.
ODEP at 20: Driving Change Through a Focus on the Future
Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) concluded a blog series celebrating its 20th anniversary. In the final blog post, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams reflects on ODEP’s accomplishments and outlines current and future priorities, including ensuring a disability-inclusive pandemic recovery and advancing workforce equity, inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Explore the 2022 WRP Database
The 2022 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database is now available! The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal employers with highly qualified, pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking internships or permanent jobs. It is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense. Executive Order (EO) 14035, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, which was issued by President Biden on June 25, 2021, highlights the WRP as an important tool for expanding federal employment opportunities for college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Private employers can also utilize the WRP by contacting EARN at email@example.com.
Guide to Handling Captioning and ASL Requests for Virtual Meetings
With remote work and video conferencing more commonplace, employers may have questions about how to handle requests for captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for online meetings. To help, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) recently published a guide addressing relevant considerations, including creating and sending the invitation, sharing materials in advance and navigating vendors and logistics.
CVS Health: Drafting a Playbook for Success
A new EARN employer case study highlights CVS Health’s Abilities in Abundance program. The program aims to address barriers to employment for people with disabilities, while helping CVS Health meet workforce needs by tapping into an often underutilized talent pool. CVS has experienced many benefits from the program, including reduction in turnover and lower training costs. Abilities in Abundance also reflects CVS Health’s commitment to creating a workforce that reflects the communities they serve.