May 2014 - Welcome to the GCEPD
On April 8 the GCEPD met with Governor Peter Shumlin to discuss our plans and goals for expanding the employment of Vermonters with disabilities. Our meeting was captured on video by Onion River Community Access (ORCA Media) and can be enjoyed here:
When you as an employer hire a person with a disability, you may not appreciate or foresee the incredible positive impact such a partnership may have - on the employee hired, on your workplace, or on the community you serve. When a corporation, business, or organization hesitates to take a chance on employing a person with a disability because of fears or misunderstandings, the status quo continues. Yet by providing an opportunity for a talented person with a disability to use their skills and live up to their potential, businesses become instruments for significant change - serving up opportunities for everyone to shine. We invite you to read about the ripple effect of employing a person with a disability in our latest issue of Abilities, our e-newsletter, which you can find here.
Membership of the GCEPD is comprised of 21 people. Four members are mandated by the legislature to represent Vocational Rehabilitation, the Vermont Department of Labor, the Veterans Administration, and Veterans Employment. The remaining members are divided rather equally among the following groups: 1) individuals with a disability or representing a disability community; 2) representatives of business, industry or nonprofits; and 3) individuals who provide services to people with disabilities.
Check out our video showcasing Vermonters at work! This very short video celebrates the contributions – and promotes the employment – of Vermonters of all abilities. http://youtu.be/yBxOy9daOuQ
For another perspective on the employment of Vermonters with disabilities, we encourage you to read this article.
Check out this great and inspiring article from Seven Days
about Ben Chater, a man of conviction!
What can YOU do to support the employment of Vermonters with Disabilities?? The following is a list of options to consider. We also invite you to go to our section of "Educational Materials" here on our website for additional helpful resources.
- Take advantage of the menu of progressive employment options offered by the Creative Workforce Solutions group in your area; (Your local CWS representative can be found here: http://www.cwsvt.com/about-us/contact-us.html)
- Utilize the services of one of the many noteworthy organizations in your area that work directly with individuals with disabilities and consider their candidates for employment;
- Learn best practices from other employers that employ a diverse workforce – such as our 2012 award winners;
- Showcase your disability and diversity hiring practices in your annual report;
- Take advantage of the resources of the national Job Accommodation Network (www.askjan.org);
- Explore some of these other resources offered by the Campaign for Disability Employment: www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/blog/index.php/employer-resources
- Host a GCEPD-led panel of experts discussing workplace accommodations;
- Patronize one of the many Vermont employers that have won a Governor’s Award for their disability employment practices (See http://www.hireus.org/Governorsawards)
If you are interested in learning more about what YOU can do, what WE can do for you, or in becoming a member of the GCEPD, please contact GCEPD Executive Coordinator Melita DeBellis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-434-6600.
Chris Bernier, Chair of the GCEPD