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Lt. Governor Guadagno Addresses New Jersey Symposium on Hiring People with Disabilities

Continuing the Christie Administration’s efforts to improve employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, Lt. Governor Guadagno joined Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Harold J. Wirths in hosting a symposium that brought together 75 New Jersey employers with state agencies and training vendors who can match them with qualified candidates for open jobs.

While federal regulations require many businesses to hire people with disabilities, New Jersey has a solid history of employers eagerly reaching out into the community to bring on the talents of workers with disabilities, independent of any state or federal requirements.  Today’s symposium highlighted success stories, reviewed the incentives available to assist employers with training and providing accommodations, and highlighted the return on investment for hiring individuals with disabilities.

“New Jersey recognizes that competitive employment is the first and preferred post-education activity for everyone, including people with disabilities,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno.  “Whether the individual is a person born with a disability, a wounded veteran, or someone overcoming an addiction, he or she can become a treasured asset to a company’s workforce.  This symposium gives employers an opportunity to identify qualified residents who are ready, willing and able to work.”

The event featured an experienced panel of experts from TD Bank, Arc of New Jersey, Midland School, the Department of Labor and the state’s Financial Services Talent Network who discussed how state agencies and training providers cooperate to provide seamless service to help employers connect with qualified workers who will meet the skill needs of the business.

“The Employment First policy adopted by Governor Christie’s Administration in 2012 expanded our efforts to foster an inclusive workforce in the Garden State,” said Commissioner Wirths. “My department’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services program placed 4,439 individuals with disabilities into competitive, integrated employment in Fiscal Year 2014, which was a new record for our state. We are here to assist employers in their recruitment efforts as well as people looking for a job.”

Members of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), the go-to agency for businesses eager to connect with qualified workers with disabilities, and the state Department of Human Services were on hand to talk with the employers along with nearly 50 representatives from training providers who are brought in under state contract to assist in training and placing workers with disabilities into mainstream employment.

Employers and job-seekers can find more information about the programs and services offered by DVRS on its website at http://jobs4jersey.com/jobs4jersey/jobseekers/disable/index.html or by calling (609) 292-5987 or (609) 292-2919 (TTY).

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