Department of Human Services | CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION CELEBRATES NATIONAL DISABILITY
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Seven Employers Recognized for Providing Job Opportunities for
TRENTON, OCTOBER 16, 2012  —  The departments of Labor and Workforce Development and Human Services joined today to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month by recognizing seven New Jersey employers for providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
 
 
Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths and Human Services Deputy Commissioner Dawn Apgar recognized Comcast, Lowes, Virtua Hospitals, TD Bank, the U.S. Social Security Administration offices in New Jersey, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor, for their efforts to recruit and hire job-seekers with disabilities. 

"Breaking down barriers to employment is important in building a diverse, accessible and productive work force. It’s also an empowering and inspiring influence in the life of a person with a disability," said First Lady Mary Pat Christie.” That’s why earlier this year, Governor Christie and his Administration adopted an Employment First Policy to ensure that our residents with disabilities are a seamless part of our Garden State labor force and I congratulate each of these seven companies for their commitment to this effort."
All seven honorees were commended for their longstanding partnership with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and hireAbility, a nonprofit, private job development and job placement agency that helps people with disabilities obtain competitive jobs and helps employers find often overlooked talent. 
 
"I’m proud of my department’s efforts to help people find work, get training and improve their skills, including those with disabilities,” said Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths. “I encourage New Jersey businesses that may not know how to reach this pool of dependable, qualified and hardworking workers with disabilities to get in touch with my Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The program works cooperatively with employers and job-seekers to help find suitable employment matches.”
 
In April, Governor Christie announced that New Jersey was adopting an Employment First initiative.  The initiative embraces a philosophy – implemented through policies, programs and services – to proactively promote competitive employment in the general workforce for people with any type of disability.

“Last year, as partner agencies, the departments of Human Services, and Labor and Workforce Development supported programs that found jobs for nearly 5,000 people by helping to match employers that are hiring with qualified job seekers who have disabilities,” said Department of Human Services Deputy Commissioner Dawn Apgar, who oversees the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities and Disability Services. “We continue to provide support to those employees through training, counseling or  assistive technology to make sure they can stay employed.”

Each year in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and seeks to educate a wider audience about disability employment issues. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services hosted today’s celebration with Human Services in partnership with hireAbility.
 
Employers and job-seekers interested in learning about the programs and services offered by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services can visit online at: http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/dvrs/disabled/DisIndex.html; email:  dvradmin@dol.state.nj.us; or call (609) 292-5987 or (609) 292-2919 (TTY).

 
 
 
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