Des Moines, Nov. 15 – Maryland increased its effectiveness of its workforce training programs, presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley said of his time as Maryland’s governor.
“I learned as governor the very disparate way, that people with disabilities are kept out of our workforce, and so as governor we actually increased and improved on the effectiveness on our workforce training programs, especially as they relate to people with disabilities,” O’Malley said in an exclusive interview with The RespectAbility Report following the CBS Democratic presidential primary debate.
622,682 people in Maryland have a disability. Of the 321,409 who are of working age (18-64), 40 percent are employed, which is higher than the national average. According to the most recent Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, Maryland increased employment of people with disabilities by .5 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Previously O’Malley touted the work being done through Maryland’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to help people with disabilities become employed.
“There’s dignity in every life but there’s also dignity in work,” he said in an interview with The RespectAbility Report last month. “We were actually doing things that work and helping people with training and people with placement.”
Indeed, in 2012, DORS helped 2,506 people with disabilities become employed.
O’Malley said the government needs to examine where to best make cuts, since not all cuts are good.
“We need to instead lift up the practices that actually work and make them more impactful, make the investments, because long term that’s good for all of us, not only people who find the work and are connected to the dignity of work,” O’Malley said. “But it’s also best for us as a nation, that more of our people are employed and included in the life of our country.”