Category Archives: Uncategorized

People With Disabilities Are Finding More Work

Today’s post comes from guest author Kit Case, from Causey Wright.

By Ben Paynter, Fast Company, 3/6/2018, via Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment

People With Disabilities Are Finding More Work, But There’s A Long Way To Go

A new report finds that while there’s been some improvement, people with disabilities (especially minorities) face huge barriers to entering the workforce. 

While the vast majority of Americans with disabilities want to work, just over one-third are able to find jobs, according to a recent survey from RespectAbility,  a nonprofit that works to empower and increase opportunities for people with disabilities.

That creates a major societal problem: Without gainful employment, more than 12 million people are losing out on wages that might fuel more independence, never mind the obvious hit to their feelings of self-worth. But there’s some good news: more than 343,000 new workers with disabilities took jobs in 2016, four times as many as the year before.

That finding is part of a separate RespectAbility report analyzing recent data from the 2017 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, an online repository of federal data that’s compiled by the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. The current percentage of people with disabilities who have jobs stands at 36% compared to 78% of people without disabilities who are employed.

The success of workplace hiring varies drastically from state to state. The top three states doing the best at inclusion are North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota (with rounded hiring rates of 54%, 52%, and 48%, respectively). Those states lagging the worst are West Virginia, followed by Alabama, and Mississippi (all have rates in the upper 20% range). There’s evidence that people with disabilities who are minorities may be doubly discriminated against; the hiring rate for African-Americans is especially low, at 28% overall.

RespectAbility’s analysis points out that places where opportunity is improving and have committed to adopting strong transitional school-to-work programs and state policies that support equitable job-training and development and workplace hiring practices. Two groups with initiatives that appear to be succeeding are called Project SEARCH and Bridges from School to Work.

Project SEARCH, the report notes, is an example of an employer-led effort to match students with disabilities to new jobs. It’s active in 46 states and 78% of participants end up being hired. Bridges from School to Work is known for its career “assessments, workshops, and job matching.” The effort has placed candidates at 4.500 workplaces, according to its website, and it has been honored by several of the national and local employers in different cities where it works. Standout companies include Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Dallas, Sears and AMC Theatres in Los Angeles, and Walmart in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

RespectAbility’s analysis makes clear that it will take a multi-pronged approach to make change: policy shifts, new programs, and obviously ever-more companies with a strong commitment to fair hiring practices. In recent years, companies like JP Morgan Chase, Pepsi, UPS, SAP, Ernst & Young, IBM, Starbucks, and Walgreens have become particularly good role models for inclusion. As the report notes: “These companies have seen that people with disabilities are successful employees who improve businesses’ bottom lines.”

Photo by linkwize on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

The Workforce Recruitment Program: Where Success Comes Full Circle

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from blog.dol.gov

ODEP staff pose with colleagues in front of a sign at a USBLN public event.
Lauren Karas (center front) poses with colleagues at the USBLN 2016 annual conference.

During my junior year at Elon University, I was searching for a summer internship in the District of Columbia, reviewing job openings, and pursuing numerous leads when I had a breakthrough. I reached an incredibly helpful job placement coordinator in the U.S. Social Security Administration, who told me about an initiative called the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP).

The job placement coordinator walked me through the virtues of the WRP, explaining that it helps place college students and recent graduates with disabilities, like me, in internships and permanent jobs in the federal and private sectors.

Here’s how it works: The WRP serves as a pipeline for employers to find qualified employees. Students are pre-screened and interviewed before being accepted into the database, which is updated annually. Employers can choose to hire students for permanent positions or summer jobs. Of course, internships enable employers to determine whether a student’s skills and abilities are a good fit before making a decision about whether to hire permanently.

Students benefit, too, since the program offers greater exposure to a wide range of employers, provides real-world work experience, and gives them a foot in the door to permanent employment.

This tip from the job placement coordinator led me to an internship in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy…

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Find Opportunities

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

If you are interested in exploring apprenticeship as the next step in your career, there are many ways to find opportunities in your area. Many businesses advertise their apprenticeship openings in local media and commercial job search sites. You can also access apprenticeships through your local American Job Center; often, American Job Centers partner with local businesses to match job-seekers with available opportunities. You can find the telephone number and location of the nearest American Job Center by typing in your ZIP code using the search tool at https://www.careeronestop.org/site/american-job-center.aspx.

You can also access listings of apprenticeship opportunities by using the Apprenticeship Finder Tool or by contacting your state apprenticeship agency.

For additional information about the program, please see our Apprenticeship Frequently Asked Questions.

Benefits for an Apprentice

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Americans’ Optimism About Job Market Hit Record High in 2017

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from news.gallup.com

  • 56% viewed job market positively in 2017, up from 42% in 2016
  • Confidence in job market buoyed by Republicans since Trump’s inauguration
  • 40% of unemployed adults seeking jobs rated job market as good

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ optimism about finding a quality job averaged 56% in 2017, the highest annual average in 17 years of Gallup polling and a sharp increase from 42% in 2016. Coinciding with rising optimism, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from an average 4.9% in 2016 to 4.4% in 2017, the lowest rate since 2000.

Since October 2001, Gallup has asked Americans monthly if it is a good time or a bad time to find a quality job. Historically, Americans’ perceptions of the job market have tracked closely with the monthly unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When the unemployment rate is low, public perceptions that it is a good time to find a quality job rise. Conversely, when the unemployment rate is high, views of the job market get worse.

Prior to this year, Americans’ assessments of the job market were most positive in 2007 (43%) at the start of the Great Recession and least positive its last year, 2009 (10%). Since the job market bottomed out in 2009, Americans’ ratings of it have improved steadily, rising to the highest level yet in 2017.

Sharp Republican Reversal on Job Market in 2017

Positivity about jobs among all U.S. adults began to rise on a monthly basis in January 2017, reaching 54% in February 2017. By the end of 2017, it hit 62%…

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U.S. Department of Labor Investigations Help Retirement Plans Recover Nearly $16 Million After Losses from Fraudulent Loans

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Department of Labor has entered into a settlement agreement with U.S. Fiduciary Services and three of its subsidiaries that provides for payment of more than $7 million to 42 retirement plans that suffered losses as a result of investments in fictitious loans made by Florida-based First Farmers Financial LLC (FFF).

The agreement and anticipated future payments from a pending Receivership Estate case involving FFF are expected to compensate the retirement plans fully for approximately $16 million in losses.

FFF created the fictitious loans and forged documents stating that the loans were guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Forty-two retirement plans invested in a fund exposed to the fraudulent FFF loans through subsidiaries of U.S. Fiduciary Services.

EBSA’s Chicago and Atlanta regional offices conducted investigations of the subsidiaries – Salem Trust Company, Pennant Management Inc., and GreatBanc Trust Company – for potential violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in connection with the plans’ investments in a fund exposed to the fictitious FFF loans.

After its investigations, the Department entered into the settlement agreement with U.S. Fiduciary Services and the three subsidiaries, resolving its claims of ERISA violations. Representatives of the ERISA-covered retirement plans that are due to receive settlement proceeds were also parties to the settlement agreement….

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Statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta on January Jobs Report

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued the following statement regarding the January 2018 Employment Situation report:

“Our strong economy continues to grow, as 200,000 new jobs were added in January 2018. Since Election Day 2016, American job creators have added 2,553,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate remains at a 17-year low of 4.1%. Job growth in construction was strong in January, with 36,000 new jobs created.

“January saw the third consecutive monthly rise in the wage growth rate, with a 2.9% 12-month increase in average hourly earnings. December 2017 wage growth rate was revised up to 2.7%; November 2017 was 2.5%. This may be the start of a welcome trend in wage gains, and marks the highest percentage increase in average hourly earnings since 2009. Average hourly earnings data excludes bonuses.

“The reaction to the President’s landmark tax reform law has been overwhelmingly positive. Job creators across the nation have announced billions of dollars in bonuses, higher wages, and new benefits for employees. Many have also announced new investments in facilities and equipment. All of this is welcome news.”

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California Job Center Helps Veteran Get Career Back on Track

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from blog.dol.gov

Editor’s note: This story was adapted from a post by the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department.

Marine Corps veteran Gregory Lincoln was 59 when word came down that his IT specialist position was being eliminated. Gregory had more than 20 years of professional experience in IT and education-related fields, as well as degrees in business administration, criminal justice, and information technology. Unemployment was devastating.

“My family was facing our darkest moment ever and we had no hope,” Gregory says. “My wife and I just bought a home. I didn’t know where to turn.”

That changed when his local veterans’ center referred him to the High Desert America’s Job Center of California in Victorville. The support, encouragement, and guidance he received from his “angel crew,” as he calls them, put him on the path to success.

“I’d started thinking something was wrong with me. I was on the verge of losing my home and no jobs were coming in,” he says. “They came in and boosted my confidence when it was at its lowest level.”

From left: Sam McMakin, Christine Watson, Gregory Lincoln and Shelly Wolfe.
From left: Sam McMakin, Christine Watson, Gregory Lincoln and Shelly Wolfe.

His three “angels” – veterans representatives Sam McMakin and Shelly Wolfe from the California Employment Development Department, and Christine Watson from the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department – took Gregory under their wings, aligning his…

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Collecting Mine Safety Fines

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.theintelligencer.net

American drivers understand that if they go over the speed limit and receive a ticket from a police officer, they must pay the fine that has been issued, or their driver’s license will be suspended. The laws for drivers, and the consequences of not paying fines, are clear to all.

America’s mine operators also operate under a set of well-known laws. The federal Mine Act is straightforward on enforcement matters: Inspectors conduct mandated annual inspections and issue citations for safety and health violations, which carry a monetary penalty. The payment of these fines is required by law, and funds go to the U.S. Treasury.

These penalties are an important reminder of the need to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for America’s miners. When penalties are assessed, full and timely payment of fines must be a routine matter for all mine operators — just as it is for drivers who violate the rules of the road.

As the Assistant Secretary of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), it is my job to promote safe and healthy workplaces, and help prevent mining accidents, illnesses, and injury for the more than 300,000 men and women who work in our nation’s mines. Mine operators must pay the safety and health fines they have been issued by MSHA, as required by the law.

The great majority of mine operators are serious in their approach to safety responsibilities. They maintain safe working conditions, correct problems, and pay their…

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