Markell Makes Jobs For The Disabled A Top Priority
On Monday, Governor Markell signed into law the Employment First Act, which encourages private employers throughout Delaware to hire people with disabilities. This weekend, he also launched his nationwide initiative as chair of the National Governors Association: “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People With Disabilities.”
Finding jobs has always been a challenge for people with disabilities, and the current economic situation has only added more obstacles. Only 17.8% of America’s disabled population is employed, compared to 63.6% of those with no disability. For the next year, Governor Markell will continue to make it a priority to change those statistics.
Although many governors traditionally choose to focus on signature issues that are broader than Markell’s initiative, the governor has a longstanding interest in helping people with disabilities. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Markell said that he has been interested in creating employment opportunities for the disabled since his time as Delaware’s treasurer, when he met a young man whose quality of life had been dramatically improved when he was able to find a job after six years of living with his parents.
Markell’s initiative will work to raise awareness about the challenges people with disabilities face in the workforce. It will also establish a toolkit of best practices that both governments and private businesses can use to most effectively create employment opportunities for the disabled in their state.
“The bottom line is that there are so many people with disabilities who have the time, talent and desire to make meaningful contributions to interested employers,” Markell said. ”More companies are recognizing that creating greater economic opportunity for these workers improves their own bottom line as well.”