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People with Disabilities Can Help Fill ND Job Openings

PHOTO: Getting more North Dakotans with disabilities on the job is the focus as the state's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, meeting today in Bismarck. Photo credit: photologue_np/Flickr.
PHOTO: Getting more North Dakotans with disabilities on the job is the focus as the state's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, meeting today in Bismarck. Photo credit: photologue_np/Flickr.
November 19, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. - As North Dakota continues to report the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, one often untapped resource that could help fill those job openings is individuals with disabilities. Cheryl Hess, executive director with the North Dakota State Council on Developmental Disabilities, says a large number are unemployed or underemployed for various reasons, however,

"Many people with disabilities really can do the job," says Hess. "A lot of the time, they're the employees that are going to show up for work, they're going to do the job, and they're going to do it well once they know how to do it."

The state's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities is meeting today in Bismarck, as the panel continues to focus on ways to remove barriers to employment.

Hess notes, one key to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities on the job is working in partnership with the state's business community.

"Educating employers in regards to working with people with disabilities, and providing some of the reasonable accommodations that can help them be successful in the job," she says.

It's estimated that nearly one-in-five people in North Dakota and nationwide have a disability of some type and the figures continue to rise as the population continues to age.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND