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Author: Heidi Wangelin

9400 Nevadans with Disabilities Lose Jobs, Leading to New Gov. Steve Sisolak Saying They “Are Great Asset to our Workforce”

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak smiles looking off camera in front of a blurred background of trees and mountains
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak

Washington, D.C., March 8 – During the 2019 National Governors’ Association winter meeting, newly elected Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak made his commitment to people with disabilities crystal clear: “We view people with disabilities as people with abilities, tremendous abilities that are great assets to our workforce.”

The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows that there are 183,918 working-age people (ages 18-64) with disabilities living in Nevada. Out of that number, 73,968 Nevadans with disabilities have jobs. That means the Silver State has a disability employment rate of 40.2 percent. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that Nevada ranks 22nd out of the 50 states for disability employment. Census Bureau data also shows that more than 9,400 people with disabilities in Nevada lost jobs last year.

Under Gov. Sisolak’s predecessor, large companies such as Starbucks had success hiring people with disabilities in Nevada. According to the Carson Valley Times, companies have expanded employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Starbucks has been at quick to implement innovative strategies to integrate people with disabilities into the community workforce. At Starbucks’ Carson Valley roasting and distribution facility, interns with disabilities are given training that builds marketable skills and helps people find employment upon completion of the internship. According to John Kelly, senior vice president of Global Public Affairs & Social Impact, hiring people with disabilities at Starbucks is more than just the right thing to do – it positively impacts the company’s bottom line.