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Employer Benefits for Hiring Individuals with a Disability

By Tevis Arnold, Minds Matter LLC Employment Specialist

Hiring a qualified person with a disability brings greater benefits beyond just filling an open job. Individuals with disabilities represent the single largest and most diverse minority in the United States and are a major untapped source of qualified candidates, according to U.S. Department of Labor experts. It is believed by workplace disability experts that employers are not relying on this workforce because they are unaware of the various skills people with disabilities are capable of. Also, the lack of ability to identify these potential employees leaves the workforce untapped.
 
Employers are failing to take advantage of an exceptionally trained and qualified workforce who can deliver nothing but loyalty and unsurpassed commitment to their jobs and employers. The National Association of Social Workers states that people with disabilities are shown to hold higher performance ratings, as well as lower attrition rates than any other employee group. Simply put, when a job needs to be done, workers with disabilities take care of business.
Through a public outreach effort, The U.S. Department of Labor and the State of Kansas has increased efforts to inform employers about this untapped workforce through programs such as EARN (Employee Assistance Referral Network), Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Job Accommodations Network (JAN) and Kansas Workforce Centers, which provides employers with information about how easy and inexpensive it is to accommodate people with disabilities at the workplace.  
Employee Assistance Referral Network (EARN): These are resources to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance individuals with disabilities. Benefits of the EARN program include:

  • Assistance growing and effectively maintaining a diverse workplace.
  • Learning how workers with disabilities positively affect all aspects of business.
  • Practicing sufficient communication practices, as well as useful management policies and procedures.
  • Discovering tax benefits and incentives for employers who hire workers with disabilities.
  • Receiving technical assistance and consultation including information, resources, and support on specific employment practices and topics.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC): People have the opportunity to move from welfare, back to work and gain on-the-job experience thanks to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The program encourages employers to hire out of targeted groups of potential employees who often face difficulties sustaining employment. This reduces the employer’s federal income tax liability by as much as $2,400 per qualified new worker during their first year of employment. Employers can save up to $9,600 in their first year of employment through the disabled unemployed veteran target group according to the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Job Accommodations Network (JAN): JAN provides free, confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Kansas Workforce Centers: Kansas Workforce Centers serve as a one stop shop for both job seekers and employers.  They provide training and employment assistance for job seekers.  They provide Incentives Training, Disability Resources, Incumbent Worker Training Program, Employee Federal Bonding, and the Incumbent Worker Training Program.  
The best reason to hire a person with a disability is because he or she is qualified!  Employers also benefit in other ways by:

  • Reducing training and recruitment costs.  People with disabilities have equal to or higher performance rates and are less likely to resign and move onto another job.
  • Increasing productivity in work groups.  People with disabilities motivate other employees.
  • Diversifying your workforce to appeal to a diverse customer base.  One in five Americans has a disability, representing $1 trillion in purchase power.
  • Receiving tax credits by hiring people with disabilities.

If you are interested in expanding your workforce, give us a call at 866.429.6757 or send us an email through the Contact Us page.