Las Vegas, Oct. 14 – Job training and placements will help more people with disabilities gain successful employment, Gov. Martin O’Malley told The RespectAbility Report following the Democratic primary debate.
“When I was governor of Maryland, we saw the appalling level of unemployment among our neighbors and people with disabilities,” O’Malley said in the spin room at the Wynn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. “So we had a program … and we focused on training. We focused on placement, because we believe that in our state, there’s no such thing as a spare American. And the more we can involve all of our citizens more fully in the economic life of our state, the better we would do.”
622,682 people in Maryland have a disability. Of those who are of working age (18-64), 40 percent are employed, which is higher than the national average.
“The same is true of the United States,” O’Malley continued, explaining how he would address this issue on a national scale. “We need to do a better job of connecting people with disabilities with the skills and the employment that allows them to live full and successful lives.”
While O’Malley did not mention people with disabilities during the debate, he did promise to work to help people who are poor.
“For there is a — deep injustice, an economic injustice that threatens to tear our country apart, and it will not solve itself,” the former governor said during his openig statement. “Injustice does not solve itself. What I’m talking about is this, our middle class is shrinking. Our poor families are becoming poorer, and 70 percent of us are earning the same, or less than we were 12 years ago. We need new leadership, and we need action.”