Cleveland, August 6 – The way to ensure people with disabilities have jobs is to grow the economy, former Gov. Jim Gilmore said after participating in the Fox News debate Thursday.
“If you grow the economy strong enough so that there’s lots and lots of work for people, I think people with disabilities would be sought after in order to fill a variety of different kinds of jobs,” the Republican presidential hopeful told The RespectAbility Report. “The challenge we see today is that are too few jobs for everybody. People with disabilities are often left behind. I don’t want to see that happen. I have no trouble with workforce training. I did that as governor. I have no trouble with caring for people who are disabled. I did that as governor. But the only longterm solution is to have such a robust economy there’s opportunities for them and for everybody else.”
Only 36.9 percent of Virginia’s working-age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates powerlessness, dependence, and can even increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition.
Today in Virginia 28,300 youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 20 are preparing to enter the labor pool.
There are a huge number of federal contractors in the commonwealth of Virginia, as well as some major federal government offices. In the debate, Gilmore said he would revoke all of President Obama’s executive orders. This would thus include President Obama’s Executive Order 13548, which opens up more government jobs for workers with disabilities.