How will you celebrate the ADA? July 26th marks the 26th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here are some thoughts about what your company can do to highlight the ADA and raise awareness of the importance of disability inclusion in your organization.
Highlight Your Disability Employee Resource Group Activities
Use messaging to promote downloading the CDE materials and hold focus group across your geographies and business lines
Host an Accessibility Fair
Partner with your state vocational rehabilitative serves offices to set up an in house event that enables your managers and employees to see, touch and learn about a variety of Assistive Technology Devices. Don't forget about reviewing building accessibility including door access, restrooms, parking and hallways. Review your website for accessibility and ensure there is a plan to move to 508.
Network with Other Employers
Send a team of your D&I, Talent Acquisition, Veteran Recruiters and Hiring Managers to DC Metro BLN 4th Annual Wounded Warrior Symposium at LEIDOS to network with like minded employers who are committed to disability inclusion- and don't forget to register for the August Program at General Dynamics! NO other organization has the resources and effective networking that the BLN!
Strengthen Your Talent Pipeline
Invite new community partners (community based non profit organizations that support employment) to your facility and encourage them to present to hiring managers what they offer. Conversely, have your hiring managers share what jobs are in demand and what skill sets are needed. Have a senior leader moderate the conversation!
Maximize Your Resources
Here is a short list of top organizations you need in your toolkit!
Hear from two nationally recognized subject matter experts: Tad Asbury, Marriott Foundation, Bridges form School to Work and Rich Luecking, Former CEO at TransCen. Additionally, the DC Metro BLN's "ME (Millennials and Employers) Committee" will report out on its focus group updates! Register Early- Limited to 100 connections!
A Robust Dialog of Inclusion Strategies Establishing, Leveraging Military Outreach, Hiring Initiatives and Employee Resource Groups
Join us for our 5th Annual Symposium as we address issues faced by businesses seeking to recruit and retain veterans who are ill, injured or severely wounded to enhance a diverse and productive workforce. At our Share Forum we will discuss best practices regarding Employee Resource Groups, Self ID and navigating through numerous Talent Acquisition Pipelines. Assistant Secretary, The Hon. Mike Michaud, Veterans’ Employment and Training Services, US Department of Labor, will offer suggestions and resources for successful inclusion. Register Early!
Howard Green, NOD Katherine McCary, C5 Consulting, LLC
Section 503 regulation changes require Federal Government Contractors to make good faith efforts to employ at least 7% of their workforce with IWD (Individual with Disability) across all job groups and types. To capture this, invitations to self-identify are offered in pre and post offer and every 5 years employees are invited to self-identify. Although the form is simple, getting candidates and employees to disclose is difficult. Of the many challenges, the most significant is creating a culture of inclusion in which employees feel safe, respected, and valued resulting in an increased number of employees feeling comfortable enough to self-identify.
Even if you have never purposely hired a person with a disability, at the DC Metro BLN you can learn how to recruit this talent as productive workers and also retain employees in your workforce who either have non-apparent disabilities or will most likely develop a disability while employed at your company. All our events are open to the public.
Employers join BLNs because they want an opportunity to engage with like-minded businesses to learn how to progress in the journey toward inclusion of diverse talent who happen to have disabilities (including returning Veterans).
Membership is open to both private, non-profit and government sectors and gears its programs and resources to the needs of human resources professionals, diversity and inclusion officers and EEOC directors. The OFCCP changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act make membership in BLN an excellent opportunity to stay abreast of the latest information with monthly topical programming and the opportunity to network and learn from other members. Members receive a 50% discount for program registration and receive discounted registration for other events including webinars and career fairs.
Employers gain several branding advantages with logo and links to their websites from the DC Metro BLN site: attract retain a workforce that includes individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans and wounded warriors and their friends and family; attract the same population as customers; be recognized in the community in which they do business.
Premier Recognition as a Platinum Member on our Website, in all 12 Newsletters and at All Programs. Your business will be prominently displayed in all our social media. As a Platinum Member, your employees attend all programs at no additional cost and your designee may join the DC Metro BLN Corporate Advisory Board.
DIAMOND EXECUTIVE MEMBER $5,000
Recognition as a Lead Employer on our Website, in all 12 Newsletters and at All Programs. Your business will be prominently displayed in all our social media. Five free passes per year to a monthly program!. As a Diamond Member, your designee may join the DC Metro BLN Corporate Advisory Board.
GOLD EXECUTIVE MEMBER $3,000
Recognition as a Lead Employer on our Website and for Six Newsletter Issues and six programs.
Each Executive Membership Level includes TWO full years of business membership (unlimited # of employees per organization).
(Executive Membership is open to private sector corporate members only)
OTHER ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP LEVELS
Need to Renew?
Want to “Up” Your Membership Level or need an Invoice?Email us.
VETERANS CORNER: RON DRACH "Retention of Veterans in Your Workplace"
There has been quite a lot of discussion the last few years about retention of veterans and wounded warriors in the work place. Apparently employers have having some success in recruiting and employing this population but retention may be another issue.
Here are a few things we know not related to retention:
About 200,000 Servicemembers transition from military to civilian life every year
Veterans want to work – 95% of unemployed veterans don’t use their full term of unemployment benefits
Education – between 2002 and 2013 veterans who used the Post 9/11 GI Bill most often received degrees:
- Liberal Arts and Sciences 31%
- Business, Management and Marketing 10%
- Computer, Information Sciences, and Engineering Technologies 12%
Women Veterans participating in the Post 9/11 GI Bill had a 5% higher completion rate.
Source: Veteran Economic Opportunity Report – January 9, 2015
We know many employers are aggressively seeking and employing qualified veterans and wounded warriors and this is a priority. Many employers believe retention is as important as recruitment.
I have done a lot of research on veterans’ employment retention and could find only one survey that was released in 2014. The VetAdvisor/IVMF Veterans Job Retention Survey provides data on how veterans find their initial post-military job and the reasons why they choose to leave those positions for new jobs (http://myvetadvisor.com/vetadvisorivmf-veterans-job-retention-survey-results/). VetAdvisor is a program of Three Wire Systems and IVMF is the Institute for Veterans and Military Families housed at Syracuse University.
The purpose of this survey was to gather data to determine both the rate of veteran employee attrition and the reasons why veterans leave their initial post-military jobs. Here are some of the findings:
Over 1,400 veterans responded to the survey, which was conducted online between December 2013 and February 2014.
Over 14 percent of the respondents indicated that they were presently working in their first civilian job. Of those who left their first job, nearly half of the respondents left in their first year and two-thirds left within two years.
Veterans identified the biggest obstacle to attaining employment was finding opportunities that match past military training and experience.
Nine out of ten respondents identified the opportunity to use their skills and abilities as the most important aspect of civilian employment. Several aspects of career development, benefits, work environment, and employee relationship with management were also identified as important retention considerations.
Regardless of the number of jobs held, there was an association between job alignment and job tenure with the respondent’s preferred career field.
Use of military skills is the most important aspect of employment for veterans. Because not all skills acquired during service are readily translatable, organizations wishing to both hire and retain veteran employees should provide training on translation of military skills to corporate recruiters and HR professionals. (93%)
Benefits are the second most important aspect of employment for this population, particularly veteran employee and career support services. Organizations that provide veteran-centric assistance or support will achieve higher retention rates than organizations that don’t provide veteran-centric employee programs. (92%)
Career development is just as important to veterans as it is to civilian hires, but many veterans have difficulty charting a civilian career path. Providing veteran-centric career coaching will help turn your veteran hire into a long-term employee. (83%)
(% based on survey respondents)
Here are some other survey results:
43% of respondents remained in their first civilian job 12 months or less
More than 80% of respondents were in their first job less than 2 years
Respondents reported longer average job tenure when employed in their preferred career field
Officers reported longer average job tenure than enlisted personnel, particularly for their first post-military job
Only 15% of respondents are currently working in their first post-military job
83% Mentioned Career Development Opportunities as Important for Retention
Respondents identified the opportunity to use their skills and abilities acquired in the military as the most important aspect of satisfaction in civilian employment (93%)*
There are numerous other findings in this report as well as observations from reading other information that has direct bearing on employment and retention of veterans and wounded warriors. I would be happy to meet with anyone to discuss how Drach Consulting, LLC can help you.
About Drach Consulting, LLC
Drach Consulting, LLC is a service disabled veteran owned firm that was established after a successful career that includes 28 years with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and more than 8 years with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). Ron Drach, President of Drach Consulting, LLC has nearly 50 years experience working on veteran’s issues including employment, affirmative action, vocational rehabilitation, homelessness, transitioning service members, and disability issues. Ron is available to provide consulting services on the issues mentioned above or other issues related to veterans, wounded warriors, or people with disabilities
Pathways to Careers: Success at a DC Metro BLN Member Company
As a recent high school graduate, Tom wasn’t exactly sure which career direction he wanted to pursue. Like many young people in similar situations, he hadn’t yet had a chance to explore the wide variety of opportunities available in today’s job market. To help him determine a career direction, Tom enrolled in the Pathways to Careers Initiative with ServiceSource.
The Pathways to Careers (Pathways) team in Northern Virginia spent a significant amount of time with Tom to learn about his interests, skills, motivations, and conditions for success in the workplace. Using an innovative process called Discovery, during which information is gathered from observations and interactions across many different contexts, the team found that Tom was a detail and routine-oriented individual with a strong interest in computer services and hardware.
Considering Tom’s interests and skills, the Pathways team then worked to identify a potential match with an employer partner. Evolver, a government contractor offering full life-cycle IT services, was recognized as a match for Tom because of the impressive scope of its services. Tom would have a chance to explore his interests and learn about this career field in a complex, multifaceted work environment with professional guidance and support.
Through the Pathways—Evolver partnership, an internship opportunity was developed that allowed Tom to delve into the world of the Information Technology field through a series of three internship rotations spread evenly over the course of 12 weeks. Tom’s first rotation focused on systems testing and troubleshooting; the second focused on high-volume printer maintenance and repair; and the third revolved around hardware troubleshooting and repair. The internship was structured to align with Tom’s individual interests and skills while also supporting Evolver and meeting their unique business needs. Additionally, the internship was designed to accurately represent what a paid job would be like in each of the departments.
Tom began his experience with Evolver as an intern working approximately 20 hours per week. Initially, Tom’s internship duties covered a range of services and responsibilities from different work areas within Evolver’s organizational structure. As he navigated Evolver’s workplace culture and assigned internship duties, Tom benefitted from the support of an Internship Facilitator, a Pathways staffer whose primary role was to assist and augment the employer partner’s existing training methods. The Internship Facilitator supported Tom as he became acclimated to his new work environment, helping Tom identify and implement strategies for success. Tom’s exposure to Evolver’s different departments, personnel, and workplace cultures gave him a chance to hone his abilities and his career interests through direct experience. After 12 weeks of mutual support and observation, Evolver determined that the skills Tom had demonstrated and developed during his internship would match a full-time job opening with their Group Printer Team.
Internships are often a valuable route for Pathways participants to get real-world, hands-on experience in the workplace. Internships also allow the individual and the employer to get to know one another and determine whether a particular position will be a good fit for the individual. Taking the time to understand and recognize individual aptitudes, motivations, and conditions for success is an essential part of the Pathways process, as this leads to the development of employees who are able to make valuable workplace contributions, and who are genuinely interested in their work.
Pathways to Careers is seeking employer partners who are willing to host internship experiences and consider employment opportunities for participating individuals. There are no costs or fees associated for our individuals or our employer partners, and all internship wages and workers’ compensation coverage costs are fully funded through the Pathways initiative. The Pathways model is designed to benefit both individuals and businesses in significant ways. Exciting new career paths are explored through participants’ internship and work experiences, and our employer partners gain valuable, dedicated, motivated employees who have been individually matched to their jobs, and who have been able to learn and grow into their positions through internships.
Please contact the Pathways to Careers Employer Relations Coordinator, John Gyourko, at (571) 249-9468, or via email at John.Gyourko@servicesource.org, if you’d like to learn more and explore the benefits of partnership.
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION ON DISABILITY 2016 SEAL Winners
NOD’s Leading Disability Employer Seal™ is a public, annual recognition designed to applaud those organizations that are leading the way in disability hiring and encourage additional companies to tap into the many benefits of hiring talent with disabilities, including high rates of productivity and dedication, and greater employee engagement across the workforce.
DC Metro BLN Winners
Federal Agency Committed to Hiring, Promoting Employees with Disabilities
Eighty five percent of working-age individuals withdisabilities are either unemployed or underemployed. Of the 15% that do obtainemployment, only half are working in inclusive jobs in the community. Fortunately,new government regulations are focused on changing these grim statistics. Arecently proposed rule would require federal agencies to achieve a workforceparticipation rate of 12% for people with disabilities. One proactive agency, theFederal Communications Commission (FCC), is already leading by example,implementing a disability hiring initiative dedicated to giving individualswith disabilities the opportunity to work in competitive and inclusivepositions. The Arc’s employment division, The Arc@Work, has been supporting theFCC with their hiring efforts.
Two members of The Arc’s national staff recently hadthe chance to meet with one of these individuals, Keith Coburn, who began workingat the FCC in October 2014. After working seasonal and part-time jobs for years,Keith was ready for the stability and security that comes with full-time employment. So, he reached out to his local chapterof The Arc, The Arc of Prince George’s County, where he was connected throughThe Arc@Work to an opportunity at the FCC. A year and a half on the job, Keith performs a variety of tasks thatrange from sorting mail to updating and maintaining the database of licensing salesand transfers. As a problem-solver and a “master of Excel,” Keith’sresponsibilities have grown steadily during his time at the FCC and he is inthe process of receiving his second promotion.
The quality of Keith’s work and his strong work ethichave made, and continue to make, a huge impression on all those who have hadthe opportunity to work with him. When asked to describe Keith, hissupervisors, Annette Smith and Lisa Scanlan, expressed nothing but high praise.“Dependable”, “great team member”, and “great work product” were only some of theways they described Keith’s performance.
“When Keith is assigned work, he always completes histask on time,” commented Annette.
Lisa summed it up by adding: “He always steps up tothe plate. He is the ideal employee.”
Keith attributes his success to his determination.His advice for people struggling to find work? “Stick with it. Be flexible andbe persistent,” said Keith.
Sitting down with Keith and his colleagues, it iseasy to see the strong sense of community and respect that exists in theoffice. The smiles, laughter and stories about Keith’s many successes show thehuge impact that Keith’s employment has had not only on him, but on his coworkersand the entire department.
The Arc@Workis a social enterprise that supports employers to successfully locate, hire andsupport employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities. If you areinterested in learning more about The Arc@Work, please visit our website atwww.thearc.org/thearcatworkor contact Katherine Murphy at Murphy@thearc.org.
Cut Your Employer Costs by Supporting Caregiver Employees: You Can't Afford Not To
By John Schall, Chief Executive Officer of Caregiver Action Network
Family caregiving is today’s issue just as childcare was in the 1980’s. More than 25 million Americans are working at a job and caregiving at home – that’s nearly one out of five workers.
Some companies have begun to recognize the need to address caregiving issues. But every company should. Data show that there are significant costs of caregiving to American businesses – to the tune of $50 billion annually!
Productivity costs to U.S. employers that can be attributed to caregiving are estimated to be as much as $34 billion a year – primarily due to absenteeism, shifts from full-time to part-time work, and workday interruptions.
But those aren’t the only costs. Companies face another $14 billion each year in higher employer-related health care costs associated with caregiving. That’s because employees with caregiving responsibilities have a higher incidence of major health conditions (such as depression, hypertension, and diabetes) than non-caregiving employees – directly as a result of the stress from their caregiving challenges.
The chronic stress of the caregiving role drives higher medical claims from caregiving employees, costing employers on average 8% more in health care costs per year. Health care costs are even higher for blue-collar workers (11%) and male employees (18%) who are caregivers.
And if a worker gets too stressed from juggling their work with caregiving at home and decides that they need to quit their job, the company faces even more costs. Recruiting and training new employees to replace caregiving employees costs businesses another $7 billion.
It is, therefore, in the best interests of employers to support their employees who are caregivers in order to lower their own costs as employers. This is an issue employers simply cannot afford to ignore.
Since two out of every five adult Americans are family caregivers today, caregiving is already a national phenomenon. Caregiving will only increase in prominence in the future. The population of 35 million elders will double by 2030. So the number of people who need eldercare will continue to grow rapidly as the population ages. The number of adult children caring for a parent has tripled over just the past 15 years.
No company can avoid hiring employees who happen to be family caregivers. Most family caregivers (62%) are in the prime working age between 25 and 54. Rather than avoiding them, companies must support them. What’s more, companies ignore this problem at their own peril. There are more family-related discrimination cases than ever before. In the years 2000-2010, the number of cases filed by workers caring for children or aging parents quadrupled, and the average verdict was $500,000!
That is why the time to prepare is now. Supporting employee caregivers helps companies lower their costs. The good news is that employers don’t have to start from scratch to figure out how to support their caregiving employees. There are off-the-shelf resources available to help employers put a program of their own in place with relative ease.
Healthy, happy (or at least less stressed) employees are more productive employees – employees better able to fulfill the jobs they were hired and trained to do. And in the end, that’s good for business and everyone involved.
# # #
John Schall is CEO of the non-profit Caregiver Action Network. For more information about supporting your caregiving employees, visitWorkingFamilyCaregivers.org
Caregiver Action Network is the nation's leading non-profit family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. Caregiver Action Network developed the ACE Program as part of its mission to serve the nation’s family caregivers.
ADA Litigation: Website Accessibility Claims on the Rise
In today's technology-driven society, retailers are increasingly using the Internet to provide information, goods, and services to the public. While having a website is almost a mandatory aspect of operating a retail business, it's important to ensure that the website does not also market the business to potential lawsuits. Websites have become the new hotbed of litigation brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and retailers who are increasingly relying on their Web presence need to take note.
In addition to detailed findings of the latest Jobs Report release and announcements from the field of Disability Employment, Allison Wohl, Executive Director at APSE will present.
AAPD 26th ANNIVERSARY ADA Celebration
Join AAPD on Wednesday, July 13 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, DC for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This evening will reflect on the accomplishments of our community and look towards a future where the goals of the ADA are fully realized while bringing together the national cross-disability community with business and government leadership.
"First in Flight: Soaring to New Heights in Compliance"
Announcing two of our exciting Keynote Speakers: Randy Lewis, Founder of the NOGWOG Disability Initiative and retired Walgreens Senior Vice President of Supply Chain & Logistics and Susan Taylor, Founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement & Editor Emerita of Essence Magazine.
Randy Lewis is the Founder of NOGWOG Disability read more
Susan Taylor is the Founder & CEO of National CARES Mentoring Movement read more
The USBLN has opened registration for "Disability Inclusion: The Future Redefined" its 19 Annual Conference and Biz2Biz Expo. Last year's conference sold out and this year the event is expected to bring together more than 1,000 attendees from across the country.
The USBLN is the only business to business NATIONAL membership organization, with local affiliates, that focuses on sharing and developing proven strategies for including people with disabilities in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.
This premier event provides the best and brightest in disability inclusion with cutting-edge educational sessions, enhanced networking, exciting interactive programming plus high-profile speakers. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!
Workplace: Gain information, resources and business connections that will help advance disability inclusion policies and practices. These sessions will focus on creating an inclusive workplace, effective outreach, recruitment and retention strategies, and addressing hidden biases. Learn how to help others in your organization understand this business imperative through the creation and development of business-focused disability resource affinity groups and much more.
Marketplace: Discover key trends, strategies and dynamic practices on how to effectively market to consumers with disabilities. Find out how to tap into a customer base with $220 billion in spendable, discretionary income.
Supply Chain: Learn how disability-owned businesses including firms owned by service-disabled veterans can enhance supplier diversity programs and diversity and inclusion efforts in public and private sectors. Gain business case rationale and begin identifying and connecting with potential suppliers among the certified businesses in attendance. Certified businesses, including those owned by service-disabled veterans, will learn about current trends in supply chain management and supplier selection criteria. Business to business networking and relationship-building opportunities will be plentiful.
Professional Development: Are you a professional with a disability interested in accelerating your growth and leadership opportunities? Engage with and learn from global leaders with disabilities, to confidently bring your whole self to the workplace, and the ways in which to enhance career progression.
Leadership Academy: Targets college students and recent graduates with disabilities, including those with veteran status, and provides two days of pre-conference skills building leadership development and networking activities in addition to the full conference sessions. Meet and interact with potential employers in your field of study or area of interest in a professional and energizing setting. Businesses in attendance will have the opportunity to engage with the rising leaders through interactive development workshops, facilitated networking and matchmaking sessions, resume-building activities and more.
The DC Metro Business Leadership Network is an employer led non-profit that uses a business-to business model offering education, training programs and resources to change attitudes and address concerns of businesses so that they learn how to proactively include people with disabilities in the workforce, marketplace and supplier diversity.
Myra Wilder, Chair
Andrea Hall, Vice Chair
Ellen de Bremond, Treasurer
The Choice, Inc.
Michelle Crabtree, Hyatt
Donnielle DeMesme, Golden Key Group
Dan Ellerman, Northrop Grumman
Denyse Gordon, CACI
Anna Irani, EY
Patricia Jackson, Booz Allen Hamilton
Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility
Jacqui Winters, Deloitte & Touche
Ron Drach, Drach Consulting, LLC(Chair, Wounded Warrior Committee)
Charlesiah McLean, Leidos
Dan Sullivan, KPMG
Jenn Sharp, KPMG
Sue Werber, C5 Consulting, LLC (Chair, Youth Committee)