|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
News Media Contact
Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman recognized Westwood Conference Center, located in Wausau, and Mosinee Cold Storage for improving Wisconsin’s workforce by employing people with disabilities during a visit to the Marathon County Job Center today.
"People with disabilities are an important asset to our community and a vital part of our economy," Gassman said. " When companies like Westwood Conference Center and Mosinee Cold Storage hire someone with a disability they make an important contribution that is significant and crucial to the health of our state’s workforce."
During her visit the Secretary presented both companies with the DWD WORK Award, which stands for Workers Obtained, Retained are Key. The award is presented by the DWD Secretary in recognition of efforts to grow a strong Wisconsin workforce. Companies, organizations or individuals who excel at one or more of the qualities listed below may qualify for the WORK Award. Award recipients recognize and utilize the strengths and potential each member of the workforce possesses by;
Both companies have taken an active role in helping the state’s workforce by hiring several non-traditional workers, such as people with disabilities, over the past few years. Currently, Westwood Conference Center employs two individuals who are past DWD Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) consumers, while Mosinee Cold Storage employs one.
According to research from the Cornell University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, in Wisconsin an estimated 89,000 of 216,000 people of working age who have a disability that affects work are currently working, leaving an untapped labor pool of 127,000.
Last year, more than 3,700 individuals were assisted by DVR in achieving their employment goals. Together, they will earn an estimated $63 Million this year.