Weekly Focus, October 30, 2015

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

October 30, 2015

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:

Independence Job Fair Crowd

Independence Hosts Job Fair

Cleveland Cavs Job Fair 2015

On Monday we held our fourth job fair in Independence.  It was a great opportunity for job ready candidates to meet with local employers who are hiring. It featured nearly 300 job seekers and over 50 employers.


The employers represented a wide range of industries: health care, manufacturing, sales, banking, education, and entertainment.  Participating companies included well known NE Ohio firms such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, The Cleveland Clinic, Timken Steel, Case Western Reserve University, Columbia Gas, Goodyear, Huntington National Bank, Key Bank and many more.


The job seekers on hand were excited about connecting with these great employers.  Matricia Armstead, for example shared the following:


“I really enjoyed the job fair because there are all kinds of employers here that really strike my interest.  I was able to pull lots of information from them so I can start my career.”


Similarly, Mellissa O’Connell appreciated the opportunity to interact with the employers:


“It has been really good!  There are so many people here. Everyone has been really nice and they make you feel welcome.  They give you information about where to go on their website to apply. They even ask you questions or interview you on the spot. I really enjoyed it.”


Independence Online Applications

As noted last week, we continue to receive positive feedback from both job seekers and employers about the job fairs.


The four job fairs combined involved over 160 employers connecting with over 880 job ready candidates. They each also featured an educational workshop for employers relevant to recruiting a diverse workforce.  What a great way to highlight and celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)!


Thanks again to our staff and partners for all of the hard work that went into making these job fairs so successful.   Also, OOD is so appreciative of each and every partnership that we have with employers who make a difference every day!

Job Fair Opens Up Possibilities

The opportunity to connect with employers and start on a path to employment can have a huge impact on the individuals and families we serve.  An example from the Columbus job fair highlights this positive impact.


An individual who is deaf and migrated from another country was facing the challenge of finding a job while having a disability and speaking a foreign language.  Working with a counselor, he began learning American Sign Language (ASL) and was able to find part-time employment. 

When his employer closed, however, he returned to OOD assuming he could only work part time.  The communication challenges, and a son with Cerebral Palsy, seemed too much to handle for full-time work.


Attending the Columbus job fair, however, opened up the possibilities.  It provided this individual the opportunity to be exposed to others like him, and in search of the same thing as him.  To see so many employers in the room, who were friendly and inviting and willing to engage with him, inspired him to think that working full-time is a possibility.  Seeing the services available and the opportunities they provide has also given the family hope that their son too can find future success.  Everyone’s attitudes are different thanks to the positive interaction with OOD staff, providers, and employers.


It is stories like this one that remind us what our work is all about.  It is about more than just helping people find a job, as important as that is, it really is about changing lives.  Achieving employment and increased independence opens up new possibilities and brings hope to families and communities.

State Senator Troy Balderson Visits SE Area Meeting

Senator Balderson 350

The SE Area held their quarterly meeting in Newark on Wednesday and State Senator Troy Balderson (R Zanesville) helped kick off the event.


Senator Balderson spoke about the importance of giving individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve employment and the independence and pride that goes along with it.  He recognized the challenges that exist, but encouraged staff to understand the positive impact they can make on people’s lives. The Senator also shared some examples of individuals with disabilities in his community who are thriving because they are employed and are proud of their accomplishments.


SE Area Manager Bob Nicholson presented Senator Balderson with a certificate [See photo] in recognition for his work in the SE Area and for his support of the work of OOD.


OCPMS Directors
Agency Directors Bob Blair (DAS), Cynthia Dungey (ODJFS), Kevin Miller and Gary Mohr (DRC)

Ohio Certified Public Managers Society Annual Conference

The Ohio Certified Public Manager® Society Annual Conference, entitled “A Blueprint for Resiliency,” was held yesterday in Dublin, Ohio.  The mission of the Ohio CPM Society is to further promote the interests of Certified Public Managers and Ohio CPM Program students. The Ohio CPM Society strives to make a difference by improving communication, cooperation and coordination among all government agencies on all levels.


With Lee Thatcher, Ohio CPM Society Immediate Past President, facilitating, I was able to participate in a roundtable session with my fellow agency directors Bob Blair (DAS), Cynthia Dungey (ODJFS) and Gary Mohr (DRC).


Therese Dyer, OOD Chief Finacial Officer, Janet Cool, and Director Miller


OOD’s own Janet Cool, manager of the Monitoring and Compliance Unit, served as the conference chair.  Janet, along with Matthew Dyer from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM), presented a session on Talent Management.  Additionally, Janet was awarded the 2015 Ohio Certified Public Manager® of the Year award for her work with the Society this year.


OOD currently has nine (9) graduates of the OCPM program which includes less than 700 public service managers and leaders statewide.


Job Status by County

Individuals in Job Ready Status* Statewide: 3,787


(For larger map and county details please visit our website)

Job Status by County

*Job Ready Status: Have received Vocational Rehabilitation services and are ready and seeking employment.

Back to Top