Iowa Companies Could Do More to Close Disability Hiring Gap
Monday, October 4, 2021
DES MOINES, Iowa - October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and advocates for people with disabilities are calling on employers to take a more inclusive approach as they scramble to fill open positions.
Worker shortages have been the focus of national headlines in light of the pandemic, but not every demographic is being heavily recruited.
Brooke Lovelace, executive director of the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, said jobless rates for people with disabilities remain stubbornly high - so now is a good time for employers to reexamine their hiring policies.
"Are they really being inclusive?" said Lovelace. "And do they have folks, you know, that are hiring folks that are aware of some untapped resources out in there, in using people with disabilities to fill those openings?"
According to federal data, the jobless rate for folks with disabilities is 11.5%, compared to just over 5% for the rest of the population. Meanwhile, job posting websites, including Iowa's Workforce Development portal, show anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 openings around the state.
Lovelace said workers with disabilities offer a wide range of skill sets. She noted banks are struggling to find employees right now, and the insurance industry also has a strong presence in Iowa.
She said she feels companies in those industries and others should be more inclusive in their hiring as the economy lurches through the pandemic.
"One of the things the pandemic has shown us - most people can successfully work at home," said Lovelace. "And individuals with disabilities have been asking for those types of flexibilities for a while."
Iowa has a tax-credit program designed to encourage hiring of workers with disabilities. It includes a maximum deduction of $20,000 per employee.
get more stories like this via email
LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…
PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …
PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …
HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …
ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …