Ohio: A National Model for Business Engagement

An update and information report for doctors who provide consultative exams for OOD’s Division of Disability Determination
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Kevin L. Miller, Executive Director

February 12, 2016

The mission of the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency is to ensure individuals with disabilities achieve quality employment, independence and disability determination outcomes.

What's Inside:

JSI Champion Award
Mindy Duncan, deputy director BSVI, Ron Martinez, JSI VP, Jon Hackathorn, OOD business relations manager, Brandon Wray, OOD vocational rehabilitation supervisor

JSI Janitorial Services: Champion of Opportunity

Thursday, Mindy Duncan, deputy director, Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired, presented the “Champion of Opportunity Award” to the Janitorial Services, Inc. in Valley View.


Janitorial Services, Inc. (JSI) has a history of partnership with OOD going back several years and has employed a diverse group of individuals.  For some, integrated employment is a first time experience and JSI has gone above and beyond with needed accommodations; from making a dress code exception so that an employee with vision problems could wear a hat to minimize glare or working with an employee who relied on public transportation to ensure they were able to successfully commute to and from their shifts.  Twelve individuals with disabilities found quality employment at JSI last fiscal year.


Ron Martinez Jr., vice president at JSI, appreciates the recognition but noted the underlying business rational for hiring individuals with disabilities.


“Finding hard working, dependable staff is critical to our company’s success,” said Martinez.  “We are happy to work with OOD, and their partners in the community, in order to meet our workforce needs.”


JSI was started in 1969 by Ronald Martinez Sr. in Cleveland Ohio. He still maintains ownership, along with his son, Ron.  Over 45 years, JSI has developed a reputation of being one of Ohio’s premier janitorial providers, offering quality, cost-effective building solutions.


The company employs more than 850 individuals and has grown a diverse customer base of more than 250 accounts, and now services the entire State of Ohio.  The company also has capabilities of servicing national accounts and is proud to be the preferred janitorial service to some of the area’s largest and most prestigious office complexes.


Thanks again to JSI for serving as a great example of what it means to integrate individuals with disabilities into your workforce.  We look forward to continuing to partner with them in the years to come.


Ohio Serving As a Model for Business Engagement

Changes spurred by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) at the state and federal levels are causing other states to look to Ohio as a model for business engagement.  At the request and coordination of the Poses Family Foundation, last week Southeast Regional Manager Bob Nicholson, Vocational Supervisor Kelly Rodriguez, Business Sourcing Analyst Kelly Jordan, and Workplace Initiative Ohio (WIO) Coordinator Grace Tice met with staff from the Workforce Alliances in the Texas Vocational Rehabilitation system. 


Specific information was shared including the genesis of WIO, hiring and training of staff, recruitment of employer partners, and expected and actual employment outcomes.  Next steps include bringing both Ohio and Texas executive leaderships together to discuss the return on investment and how the project positively impacts overall agency performance goals. 


Jon Hackathorn, business relations manager, also met with Debora Brown-Johnson of the ACCESS VR of New York state to discuss WIO and OOD’s partnership with the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN).  ACCESS VR has an emerging partnership with New York’s Business Leadership Network and is very interested in how OOD has grown the OHBLN and works directly with OHBLN employers to place individuals with disabilities in available jobs.


OOD will continue to work with ACCESS VR and is looking forward to collaborating with other VR agencies through the facilitation of Judith Smith of the Poses Family Foundation.  In addition to Texas and New York, agency staff has been discussing our business engagement process with Kentucky, Missouri and California.

Did You Know? OHBLN: A Resource for Employers

The mission of the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN) is to educate employers on how to include people with disabilities in the workforce.  OHBLN member companies span a multitude of enterprise categories.  Health care, financial services, education, government, consumer products, retail, logistics and employment services are represented in the OHBLN leadership.


The OHBLN serves as a continuous business forum devoted to sharing the best practices of companies who have successfully employed Ohioans with disabilities. OHBLN provides employer focused training programs at the workplace, or through webinars, at no cost to member companies.  Federal contractors are aided by OHBLN in meeting their Section 503 requirements by connecting them to qualified job candidates.

OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                            Current                    FFY2016

Individuals in Job Ready Status:                     3,527                        2,499

(For county level information

& map visit our website)

Individuals Employed:                                       1,618                        2,257

(Employed, not yet successfully closed)

Successful Closures:                                                                          2,717

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 02/05/2016 – Week 19)

Applications Received:                                              70,300

Determinations:                                                          73,538

Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                         375.3

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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