NEWS RELEASE: OOD Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month with Job Fairs and Employer Awards

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OOD Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month with Job Fairs and Employer Awards

COLUMBUS, OH - National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a campaign held every October to celebrate the many contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and to raise awareness regarding employment of people with disabilities. This year’s theme is The Right Talent, Right Now. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) is leading the state’s efforts across Ohio to promote the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. Specifically, the agency is hosting job fairs that are designed to connect OOD job seekers with employers as well as to recognize businesses who are committed to an inclusive and diverse workforce. Last year, 319 individuals with disabilities who participated in the events obtained employment.

“Ohioans with disabilities offer value and talent to Ohio’s workforce and economy,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “I salute Ohio businesses committed to hiring individuals with a disability, alongside those who do not have disabilities, to create inclusive environments so that no one is left behind.”

“This month is about connecting The Right Talent, Right Now with the workforce needs of Ohio employers,” said Kevin Miller, OOD Director. “We continue to build partnerships with Ohio businesses to increase the hiring of dedicated and qualified people – who happen to have disabilities. Last year, we assisted nearly 6,000 individuals with disabilities to successfully find employment.”

During October, OOD will host its annual series of job fairs for OOD job seekers and employers that are specifically looking to hire individuals with disabilities. The job fairs, held in Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Canton, and Cleveland, will provide individuals with disabilities a unique opportunity to connect one-on-one with employers. This year, more than 170 employers have registered to take part in these events, and several hundred individuals with disabilities will attend the job fairs.

In addition, the annual OOD Employer Partners of Inclusion Awards will recognize and honor businesses that hire individuals with disabilities. To be considered for an Employer Partners of Inclusion Award, businesses must be an employer partner with OOD, have hired at least five OOD job seekers during the one-year evaluation period, and must meet specific criteria that demonstrates their level of diversity and inclusion practices for individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Awards will be presented for Champion of Inclusion, Platinum Level, Gold Level, and Silver Level.

OOD is the state agency responsible for empowering Ohioans with disabilities through employment, disability determinations, and independence. www.OOD.Ohio.Gov