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Every business owner wants to hire motivated, dedicated, hard-working employees. Yet far too many companies are overlooking a large pool of workers who fit this exact description.
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can make some of the best employees, but they have been historically excluded from the workplace due to stigma, discrimination, and lack of opportunity. Nationally, the unemployment rate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is more than twice as high as those without disabilities, and 28% of working-age adults with disabilities have never held a job.
For these individuals, a job provides more than a paycheck. Meaningful employment leads to increased independence, inclusion, personal fulfillment, and a better quality of life.
Hiring employees with disabilities isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also good for business. Here are some of the most powerful reasons to hire people with disabilities:
Add great employees to the team
According to Ohio Employment First, the profile of a worker with disabilities reads like that of an ideal employee. Employers who have hired employees with disabilities describe them as dependable, engaged, and motivated. They also have great attendance, attention to work quality, and high productivity. Nearly three-quarters of employers report that hiring workers with disabilities has been a positive experience, and of those, nearly one-third say the experience exceeded their expectations.
Gain customer loyalty
Hiring individuals with disabilities also gives companies a unique opportunity to build a stronger brand reputation and earn greater customer loyalty. One study found that 92% of consumers feel more favorably toward organizations that hire individuals with disabilities. Of these, 87% agreed that they would choose companies that hire people with disabilities over other companies.
Create a better workplace culture
A diverse, inclusive workplace communicates that a business respects and values all its employees. When businesses hire individuals with disabilities, they tend to reap additional benefits, including improved retention, better morale, and overall stronger company culture. Additionally, adding individuals with disabilities to the workplace can attract new workers who want to work in a company that makes diversity and inclusion a priority.
Inspire change in the community
Businesses that choose to hire individuals with disabilities can also inspire other businesses to do the same. It only takes one business to drive lasting change and make their community a more just, inclusive place for everyone.
At Ohio Valley Goodwill, we’re dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities achieve personal and vocational success. Our dedicated worksite support staff offers assistance with job skills training for job seekers with disabilities, as well as assistance learning public transportation, negotiating accommodations for disabilities, and continuing workplace education. The individuals we serve have enjoyed meaningful employment in industries such as retail, banking, hospitality, food service, packaging and assembly, manufacturing, and healthcare.
When you support Goodwill by donating your gently-used goods and shopping in our retail stores, you help us change lives through the power of work! Thank you for being a job creator in your community. We encourage you to learn more about our programs and services and read the inspirational Success Stories of individuals who have received support from Ohio Valley Goodwill.