Add Us In - New York/New Jersey
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- Background and Vision
- Benefits for Businesses
- Research and Publications
- Training and Resources
- Consortium Members
Add Us In is a new initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The initiative is designed to identify and develop strategies to increase employment opportunities within the small business community for individuals with disabilities. Included within the small business community are targeted businesses that are owned and operated by minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, women, veterans and people with disabilities.
Small business is the engine of U.S. economic growth, and the data on minority business growth clearly shows that minority-owned and operated firms are a significant contributor to the long term health of the United States economy. Over the past 10 years, minority-owned businesses have grown at approximately double the rate of all firms in the U.S. economy. If one considers the growth of additional targeted businesses such as those owned and operated by women or individuals with disabilities, then the influence of these businesses is even greater. Given this level of growth in the small business community, one of the high-priority goals of the Add Us In Initiative is to create business engagement models that can be replicated on a national scale. Related to this goal is the companion goal of building national and local networks of experts skilled in connecting small employers with the underutilized talent pool that is people with disabilities.
The Add Us In project serves small businesses in northern New Jersey and New York City, including small LGBTI-, minority-, and women-owned businesses, who seek to build a more inclusive workplace by hiring and promoting New Jersey residents with disabilities.
The project will build on the experience NOD has gained from its three signature projects: Bridges to Business, the Wounded Warrior Careers program, and the Start on Success Transition project. Add Us In will assemble multiple partners, led by NOD and further including the Workforce Investment Board, Vocational Rehabilitation, T.E.E.M. Gateway, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, JVS and Goodwill of New Jersey and New York, the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center as well as youth career seekers with disabilities and representatives from groups of black, female, and Hispanic business owners.
The project will work in partnership with—and in service to—a consortium of northern New Jersey and New York City businesses. The project’s activities will range from supporting internship and mentorship for youth who are beginning their career search, to direct connection and support of adult career seekers in competitive employment. In every discreet activity we pursue, our goal will be the same: to introduce the New Jersey and New York City business community to a heretofore undiscovered talent pool.
Benefits to Businesses
Thousands of employers realize the benefits of tapping into a diverse talent pool of workers with disabilities. Not only do they gain quality employees, they receive many other benefits.
Save Time and Money
- Add Us In will help you find the right talent for your jobs - saving you time!
- A 2010 survey of 400 managers conducted by the National Organization on Disability (NOD) found that employees with disabilities stayed 1/3 longer in positions then workers without disabilities – saving you money!
Capitalize on New Markets & Increase your Customer Base
- People with disabilities and their families have money to spend in your business! The U.S. Dept. of Labor cites that the disability community contributes annually over $175 billion in discretionary spending.
- In many cases, accommodations made for employees with disabilities have increased both efficiency and productivity for all employees.
The Facts about Employing People with Disabilities
- Myth: Providing accommodations for people with disabilities is expensive
- Fact: For the minority of workers with disabilities who require special equipment or accommodation, 56% of these cost less than $600 with many costing nothing at all. Available tax incentives make it even easier for businesses to cover accessibility costs.
- Myth: The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) forces employers to hire unqualified individuals with disabilities
- Fact: Unqualified candidates are not protected under the ADA. To be protected from discrimination in hiring, an individual must first meet all requirements for a job and be able to perform its essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations
- Myth: Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities
- Fact: Studies have shown that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities
Research and Publications
Through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Add Us In initiative, NOD has piloted a program to connect employers with candidates with disabilities by forging relationships through local chambers of commerce. This brief explores the role chambers of commerce can play in linking employers to people with disabilities.
Training and Resources
A number of organizations in the New Jersey/New York regional area offer training opportunities for employers seeking to hire individuals with disabilities, including the Add Us In Consortium Members. Examples include:
- Northeast ADA Center, at Cornell University
- Offers online webinars and compiled information on disability legislation and employer accommodations.
- The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center for Development Disabilities, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University
- Offers live sessions on disability topics and employer training.
- New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
- African American Chamber of Commerce
- New Jersey Business Leadership Network (NJBLN)
- New Jersey Division of Rehabilitation Services
- Newark Workforce Investment Board
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
- New Jersey Brick House
|Candidate Pipeline Team|
Elaine Blake, Team Leader
|Manager of Special Projects, JVS of Metro West|
Transition Specialist, Newark Public School District
Executive Director, The Raise Hope Foundation
President, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
Program Manager, New Jersey Division of Disability
Supervising Vocational Rehab Counselor, New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Executive Director, Newark Workforce Investment Board
Director, Rutgers T.E.E.M. Gateway/YES Centers
|Project Management Team|
Deputy Director, Corporate Programs, National Organization on Disability
Senior Project Managers, John J. Heldrich Center on Workforce Devel
Add Us In New Jersey Project Director, National Organization on Disability
|Employer Recruitment Team|
Travis Reid, Team Lead
Operations Specialist, Newark Workforce Investment Board
Manager of Special Projects, JVS of Metro West
Director of Rehabilitation Services, Goodwill Industries of New Jersey & New York
President, African American Chamber of Commerce
Rev. Carmen Hernandez-DeArmas
President, New York City LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Director, Rutgers T.E.E.M. Gateway/ YES Centers
Youth Self-Advocacy, NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities
Project Director, NJ WINS, New Jersey Family Resource Network
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities
Senior Research Project Manager, John J. Heldrich Center on Workforce Development
Senior Project Manager, Talent Networks, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce