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Category: Republicans

Missouri Gains 8,040 New Jobs for People with Disabilities as Gov. Mike Parson Makes New Commitment to Expand Employment

Missouri Governor Mike Parson smiling in front of a grey backdrop
Missouri Governor Mike Parson

Washington, D.C., March 16 – Nationwide 111,804 people with disabilities got new jobs last year, including 8.040 new jobs in the Show Me State. Missouri now ranks 31st in the nation in terms of the employment rate for people with disabilities. Overall, there are 463,965 working-age (18-64) Missouri natives with disabilities and 172,283 have jobs. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows Missouri has an employment rate of 37.1 percent.

This news comes out weeks after Missouri Governor Mike Parson made a new commitment to ensure that state government becomes a model employer of people with disabilities. At a site visit with community service provider Paraquad in St. Louis, Gov. Parson said, “Making Missouri a model employer is vital to ensuring we are offering individuals living with disabilities options of secure competitive employment in the workforce. My administration’s vision for developing our workforce includes each and every Missourian.”

Parson’s announcement echoes previous statements he has made about expanding jobs for Missourians with disabilities. “Workplaces welcoming of all people, including people with disabilities, are a critical part of the efforts to build an inclusive community and strong economy,” Parson wrote in October 2018 in a proclamation celebrating Disability Employment Awareness Month.

8,682 Georgians with Disabilities Lose Jobs, Georgia Now Ranks 37th in the Nation

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stands in front of an American flag
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp

Washington, D.C., March 15 – While nationally 111,804 jobs were gained by people with disabilities, 8,682 people with disabilities left Georgia’s workforce. Georgia now ranks 37th in the nation based on the employment rate of people with disabilities. Out of the 661,498 working-age (18-64) Georgians with disabilities, only 227,895 have jobs. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows Georgia has an employment rate of 34.5 percent for people with disabilities.

Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that despite the job losses in the past year, employment opportunities for Georgians with disabilities have been steadily expanding with the overall disability employment rate increasing from 33.9 percent in the previous year. Back in 2016, more than 28,000 people with disabilities entered the workforce.

“While employees with disabilities typically have higher retention rates than their non-disabled peers, a certain amount of turnover is to be expected,” said Philip Kahn-Pauli, RespectAbility’s Policy and Practices Director. “As people with disabilities enter the workforce, they are exploring different jobs and searching for the right career. Sometimes the first job isn’t a good fit. In the end, however, finding the right job for the right people with disabilities can improve business’ bottom line.”

Vermont Gains 1,728 Jobs for People with Disabilities; Enters Ranks of Top 10 States for Disability Employment

Vermont Governor Phil Scott smiling in front of an American flag and the state legislature
Vermont Governor Phil Scott

Washington, D.C., March 14 – Last year, more than 1,700 Vermonters with disabilities entered the workforce, propelling the Green Mountain State to join the ranks of the top states with the best employment rates for people with disabilities. Part of a nationwide trend of job growth for people with disabilities, Vermont stood out for a dramatic increase in its overall disability employment, now ranking sixth in the nation. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows Vermont has a 47.2 disability employment rate. That number is up from only 39.6 percent employment for Vermonters with disabilities.

To put that in a larger perspective, there are 47,113 working-age (18-64) Vermonters with disabilities. Out of that number, 22,234 have jobs. Nationally, the disability employment rate of all Americans with disabilities is only 37 percent. What that means is that Vermont consistently outperforms other, bigger states like California and Texas.

Vermont’s disability community has benefitted from the leadership shown by Gov. Phil Scott. When he was running for election back in 2016, Scott spoke publicly about his commitment to support and expand job opportunities for more and more Vermonters with disabilities. “Disability issues are very personal for me, and are critical to address,” he wrote in response to a nonpartisan candidate questionnaire from the advocacy group RespectAbility. “As a Vermonter, I will always support the rights of all people to live with dignity and independence.”

Wyoming Gains 578 Jobs for People with Disabilities; Ranks 10th in the Country for Disability Employment Rate

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon smiling
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon

Washington, D.C., March 14 – As nationally 111,804 jobs were gained by people with disabilities, 578 people with disabilities in Wyoming were part of this gain in the workforce. Wyoming now ranks 10th in the nation for employment rates of people with disabilities with 19,063 of the 41,825 working-age (18-64) Wyomingites with disabilities being employed. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows Wyoming has a 45.6 disability employment rate.

Among newly sworn-in Gov. Mark Gordon’s first actions as Governor was to select Erin Johnson as his Health and Human Services Policy Advisor, signaling a firm commitment to working on “key Wyoming issues and advocating on behalf of…those with disabilities and Wyoming youth.”

Gov. Gordon’s administration is well positioned to continue supporting its citizens with disabilities. Wyoming’s Employment First Initiative has become a key policy program to enable people with disabilities to secure employment rather than just receiving government benefits. The initiative brings together job seekers with disabilities, employers who need talented workers and community service providers to facilitated connections.

Oklahoma Gains 4,040 Jobs for People with Disabilities; Ranks 29th in the Country for Disability Employment Rate

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt headshot
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt

Washington, D.C., March 14 – As nationally 111,804 jobs were gained by people with disabilities, 4,040 people with disabilities in Oklahoma were part of this gain in the workforce. Oklahoma now ranks 29th in the nation for employment rates of people with disabilities with 127,608 of the 339,773 working-age (18-64) Oklahomans with disabilities having jobs. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows Oklahoma has a 37.6 disability employment rate.

Newly-elected Gov. Kevin Sttit is well positioned to support further job gains among Oklahomans with disabilities. In 2018, Oklahoma’s Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), the state agency primarily responsible for helping job seekers with disabilities, reported they had successfully taken “more than 3,400 people [with disabilities] looking for work off wait lists and placed them in jobs.”

DRS also has a special commitment to supporting youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a model program called Project SEARCH, a proven business-led program where students with disabilities get hands on real-world job skills in their final year of high school. Nationwide, SEARCH already had served more than 3000 young adults with disabilities by 2015 and 78 percent of them found jobs. The businesses that participate are un-subsidized and incorporate the talents of the students with disabilities fully into their office. As reported on DRS’ website, they currently support “three young adult programs in Oklahoma City, one young adult program in Yukon, and one high school transition program for seniors in Enid.”

North Dakota Ranks 1st in the Country for Disability Employment Rate But Loses 2267 Jobs for People with Disabilities

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum smiles in front of flags
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

Washington, DC., March 13 – While nationally 111,804 jobs were gained by people with disabilities, 2267 people in North Dakota exited the workforce last year. Despite these losses, North Dakota still ranks 1st in the nation for employment rates with 21,019 of the 37,320 working-age (18-64) North Dakotans with disabilities being employed. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows North Dakota has a 56.3 disability employment rate.

The job losses experienced by North Dakotans with disabilities reflects a slowing state economy starting to see significant shifts in employment patterns. However, North Dakota’s state government has made an effort to recognize key employers who have played a vital role in ensuring economic inclusivity. Last year, for example, “The Dollar Tree received an Employer of the Year Honorable Mention from the Department of Health for their work with people with disabilities.” Recognizing inclusive employers is crucial to shining a light on the abilities of people with disabilities.

Nebraska Gains 2,068 Jobs for People with Disabilities; Ranks 4th in the Country for Disability Employment Rate

Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets smiles sitting behind a desk
Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets

Washington, DC., March 13 – More people with disabilities in Nebraska continued to gain new jobs last year, continuing a trend from the year prior.

The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows that Nebraska has a 49.3 disability employment rate. That puts Nebraska fourth in the nation for employing people with disabilities. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that in 2017, 2,068 Nebraskans with disabilities entered the workforce. That means that out of 112,418 working-age (18-64) Nebraskans with disabilities, 55,391 have jobs.

Under Gov. Pete Ricketts, the state has paid particular attention to diversity and the talent of working-age population with disabilities. Programs such as Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation have worked hard to screen and prepare job seekers with disabilities by identifying their strengths, addressing their weaknesses and matching them with appropriate jobs. The program crucially “offers customized and individualized services that are tailored to your specific needs and job goal.”

Florida Gains 23,953 Jobs for People with Disabilities; Ranks 39th in the Country for Disability Employment Rate

Ron Desantis smiles in front of an American flag
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Washington, D.C., March 12 – 23,953 Floridians with disabilities entered the workforce last year, part of a national trend of jobs gained among people with disabilities.

According to the newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows Florida has a 34.1 disability employment rate. Florida now ranks 39th in the nation for employing people with disabilities. In total, 428,638 of the 1,258,361 working-age (18-64) Floridians with disabilities have jobs.

Among newly sworn-in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first actions as Governor was to reappoint Barbara Palmer as the leader of the state’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities. The Agency, which “works with local communities and private providers to assist” Floridians with disabilities, was first created back in 2004. Palmer has systematically broken down silos and bridged gaps across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

The continuing success of job seekers with disabilities finding jobs in Florida’s economy reflects the critical policies and programs supported by DeSantis’ predecessor, the newly elected Senator Rick Scott. When Sen. Scott was Governor, he made serious budgetary commitments to reduce wait lists for services as well as “funding to provide job coaches and internships to additional people with disabilities will help them compete in the job market.”

New Hampshire Loses 676 Jobs for People with Disabilities; Ranks 15th in the Country for Disability Employment Rate

Governor Christopher Sununu smiling looking to the right of the camera
New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu

Washington, D.C., March 10 – While nationally 111,804 jobs were gained by people with disabilities, 676 people with disabilities in New Hampshire exited the workforce last year. New Hampshire now ranks 15th in the nation for employment rates of people with disabilities with 36,069 of the 84,234 working-age (18-64) New Hampshirites with disabilities being employed. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows New Hampshire has a 42.8 disability employment rate.

In the weeks prior to his 2018 re-election, Governor Christopher Sununu made new commitments on jobs for people with disabilities in a proclamation sent to RespectAbility in October in honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month. RespectAbility is a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities bring a diverse array of talent, vision, and skill to their place of work, their communities, and our state,” said Governor Sununu in the proclamation. “With a growing economy, businesses need talented employees to meet their needs and workplaces that welcome the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, and help to create more inclusive workplaces and a stronger economy.”

Maryland Gains 4,353 New Jobs for People with Disabilities as Gov. Hogan Wants to Continue Increasing Employment Opportunities

Larry Hogan headshot
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Rockville, Maryland, March 10 – More people with disabilities in Maryland continued to gain new jobs last year, continuing a trend from the year prior.

The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows Maryland is currently 16th out of 50 states with 141,870 of the 335,461 working-age (18-64) people with disabilities being employed. This gives the state an employment rate of 42.3 percent for people with disabilities. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that in 2017, the employment rate was at 41.1 percent. From 2017-2018 Maryland’s employment rates increased for people with disabilities as 4,353 Marylanders with disabilities found new employment opportunities.

In the weeks prior to his re-election, Gov. Hogan made new commitments on jobs for people with disabilities in a proclamation sent to RespectAbility in October in honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month. “Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of workers with disabilities,” said Hogan in the proclamation. “Through local and national campaigns we create greater awareness of the talents and skills individuals with disabilities bring to their employers.”

As 3,900 Kentuckians with Disabilities Lose Jobs, Gov. Matt Bevin’s Goal Is to “Destigmatize” Disability

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin wearing a suit smiles in front of a blurred background of an old building
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin

Washington, D.C., March 8 – During the 2019 National Governors’ Association winter meeting, Gov. Matt Bevin made a strong commitment to empowering people with disabilities in Kentucky. “One of the most powerful things we could do is to elevate the awareness level of the need and the numbers of people who are affected with disabilities,” he said, adding that his stated “goal is to destigmatize” disability.

Bevin also said, “Kentucky’s environment needs every single person that has any capacity and desire to be part of the solution for our workforce.”

The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows there are 430,265 working-age people (ages 18-64) with disabilities living in Kentucky. Out of that number, only 129,954 have jobs. That means the Bluegrass State only has a 30.2 percent disability employment rate. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that Kentucky ranks 47th out of the 50 states for disability employment and that more than 3,900 people with disabilities left Kentucky’s workforce last year.

4,800 Idahoans with Disabilities Get Jobs as Gov. Brad Little Says the “Rising Tide Raises All Ships”

Idaho Governor Brad Little wearing a suit, smiling in front of a blurred staircase
Idaho Governor Brad Little

Washington, D.C., March 7 – During the 2019 National Governors’ Association winter meeting, newly elected Idaho Gov. Brad Little said disability employment is benefiting the entire economy of his state. “Our employment rate for the disabled is going way up,” the governor said. “That’s the old rising tides raises all ships.”

The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows there are 125,743 working-age people (ages 18-64) with disabilities living in Idaho. Out of that number, only 54,948 Idahoans with disabilities have jobs. That means the Gem State has a disability employment rate of 43.7 percent. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that Idaho ranks 13th in the country for disability employment and that more than 4,800 people with disabilities entered the workforce last year.

“There’s so many jobs,” added Gov. Little. “We’re getting more and more and encouraging people with disabilities [through] our Department of Labor.”

As 2670 Iowans with Disabilities Lose Jobs, Gov. Kim Reynolds Calls Them “Some of Our Best Workers”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds smiles in front of the American flag and the Iowa State flag
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

Washington, D.C., March 7 – Gov. Kim Reynolds pointed out Iowa’s dedication to the disability community during the 2019 National Governor’s Association winter meeting in Washington, D.C. She also stressed the importance of including people with disabilities in the workforce.

“They’re some of our best workers, they absolutely are,” she said. “We’re at the lowest unemployment rate in the country and so we want to make sure that every Iowan has the opportunity to be successful and that’s a key piece of it.”

The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows there are 170,186 working-age (ages 18-64) people with disabilities living in Iowa. Out of that number, only 77,746 have jobs. The Hawkeye State currently has a 45.7 percent disability employment rate. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that Iowa ranks 9th out of the 50 states. However, 2,670 Iowans with disabilities exited the workforce last year.

New Video by Stacey Abrams Shows Value of Disability Community’s Vote

As many tune in after my State of the Union response, I want to take a minute to speak about recently proposed legislation that supports Americans with disabilities, a community that is in my heart and on my agenda. pic.twitter.com/xGnZs9AHJv — Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) February 8, 2019 Washington, D.C., Feb.…

The State of the Union and Addressing Disability Issues

Washington, D.C., Feb. 7 – Often presidential addresses to the nation fail to include people with disabilities and the state of their lives. However, President Donald J. Trump did not make that mistake in this year’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He mentioned Americans with disabilities and issues relevant to the disability community: employment, medical research and health care.

Unemployment for Americans with Disabilities Reached an All-Time Low

President Trump standing behind the podium of the House of Representatives, with Vice President, Mike Pence (on the left) and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (on the right) seated behind him. Behind all three hangs the United States Flag. Trump, in proudly announcing our country’s strong economy, pointed to our record low unemployment numbers. When declaring these statistics for communities of color, he also boasted of an “all-time low” in unemployment for Americans with Disabilities.

Between 2015 and 2016, there was an astounding four-fold increase in the number of new jobs created for Americans with disabilities, going from 87,201 new jobs to 343,483. And from February 2016 until May 2018, there was a steady improvement in the unemployment situation for people with disabilities, reaching an all-time low.

However, in the last year, unemployment for Americans with Disabilities has stagnated. It increased by one tenth of a percentage appoint, from 29.9 percent in January 2018 to 29.8 percent in January 2019. Thus, the current unemployment rate for working-age non-institutionalized Americans with disabilities is at approximately 70.2 percent. See nTIDE January 2019 Jobs Report: Job Numbers Hold Steady for Americans with Disabilities. 

Candidates Who Support Opportunities for People with Disabilities Won Big

Washington, D.C., Nov. 19 – Key senate and gubernatorial candidates from both sides of the political aisle who support opportunities for people with disabilities won big this election, showing that disability rights is a winning issue. There are 56 million people with disabilities (one in five Americans), more than 35 million of…

Disability Advocates Cardin and Hogan Win Re-Elections

Rockville, Maryland, Nov. 9 – Both Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin successfully defended their seats against their challengers, Ben Jealous and Tony Campbell. Hogan and Cardin’s success shows that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. This past year was a year of steady job growth in…

Disability Supporter Ducey Wins Arizona Gubernatorial Re-Election

Phoenix, Arizona, Nov. 7 – Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey won re-election, defeating Democratic challenger David Garcia in the election for Arizona’s governorship. In the weeks prior to the election, Ducey issued a proclamation for Disability Employment Awareness Month. He emphasized the importance of people with disabilities’ impact on the economy…

Abbott, Governor with a Disability, Wins Re-Election

Austin, Texas, Nov. 7 – Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has won re-election, defeating Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez for Texas’ governorship. In the weeks prior to the election, Abbott made new commitments on jobs for people with disabilities in a proclamation sent to RespectAbility in October in honor of Disability Employment Awareness…