Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 5, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Department of Workforce Development Secretary Newson Recognizes Senior Helpers of Milwaukee for Efforts to Employ People with Disabilities

MILWAUKEE – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today joined Senior Helpers of Milwaukee in congratulating the recipients of the company's "Caregiver of the Year" awards. One award recipient is an individual with a disability and a consumer with DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), an agency that provides employment and training services to job seekers with disabilities.

"When a business looks past a person's disability and recognizes their abilities, it's a win-win for everyone. The business gets a qualified and dedicated employee and the person with a disability is given the opportunity to earn a paycheck and live independently," Secretary Newson stated. "Employers like Senior Helpers recognize the value of recruiting and hiring qualified job seekers with disabilities. They worked with a DVR Business Service Consultant and they found the right person for the right job."

During his visit, Secretary Newson highlighted DVR's Business Services initiative to engage more employers across the state. As part of the initiative, 20 Business Services Consultants were hired by DVR last year and have dramatically expanded DVR's outreach efforts to employers. In a little over a year, DVR Business Service Consultants have contacted over 5,000 businesses and have assisted more than 430 job seekers with disabilities connect to permanent employment. In addition, they have arranged more than 250 on-the-job training experiences and more than 340 internships/temporary employment experiences that will help DVR job seekers with disabilities gain the skills they need to be successful in employment.

"Governor Walker has declared 2014 Year of A Better Bottom Line and is encouraging businesses to consider job seekers with disabilities when they are hiring," continued Secretary Newson. "I encourage other businesses follow Senior Helpers example and learn about the value that people with disabilities can bring to their companies."

DVR assists over 17,000 individuals with disabilities, and in fiscal year 2013, it helped 3,840 consumers achieve their employment goals. These newly employed individuals are projected to earn $66.3 million annually, more than double the taxpayer investment in their services.

In December, Governor Walker signed legislation providing over $2 million in additional state funding per year so that DVR can secure more federal aid to serve more people with disabilities. More recently, he signed legislation authorizing $35 million more in funding for his Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative. DVR will share in the funding and use its portion to help expedite services for people with disabilities.

For more about DVR services, visit: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/.