Throughout October, Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia (GCCVA) will observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign on disability employment issues from the U.S. Dept. of Labor that also celebrates the many contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” Throughout the month GCCVA will share awareness of disability employment issues and the many benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. GCCVA will also continue to demonstrate its commitment to an inclusive work culture by highlighting some of its associates who have disabilities.
“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta regarding NDEAM. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation.”
In 2017, Goodwill provided workforce development and vocational services to 535 individuals with disabilities, including 300 of its own employees. As part of its mission to change lives through the power of work, GCCVA helps place individuals with disabilities into competitive employment with a wide variety of employers and provides ongoing case management to ensure their long-term success in the workplace.
“Goodwill is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said John Dougherty, vice president of community workforce. “We want to spread the important message that inclusive workplaces for individuals with disabilities is healthy for individuals, families, businesses, communities and local economies.”
Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam.
For more information on Goodwill’s programs and services for individuals with disabilities, visit https://goodwillvirginia.org/get-job-ready/vocational-services/.
Background on NDEAM: In 1945 Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.