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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 28, 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

DWD Secretary Honors Milwaukee Employers for Efforts to Hire Persons with Disabilities

'Exemplary Employer' recognition part of Disability Employment Awareness Month, proclaimed by Governor

MILWAUKEE – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today recognized area businesses that have demonstrated a strong commitment to employ job seekers with disabilities. Secretary Newson presented the businesses with "Exemplary Employer" plaques signed by Governor Walker as part of a ceremony hosted DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

Governor Walker proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month to encourage and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities, which is also part of his initiative titled A Better Bottom Line to showcase the ways in which employing persons with disabilities improves a company's bottom line.

"We are pleased to recognize employers who have gone above and beyond expectations and have demonstrated a strong commitment to this capable and talented workforce," Secretary Newson said. "Hiring job seekers with disabilities can improve a business's bottom line, and we encourage all Wisconsin employers to experience this firsthand."

The following businesses were presented with plaques signed by Governor Walker declaring them "Exemplary Employers": Badger Alloys, Batteries Plus Bulbs, G4S, Senior Helpers, Visual Impressions, and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

Kathleen Martinez, United States Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy was keynote speaker at the event and highlighted the 2014 national theme; "Expect. Employ. Empower."

Governor Walker proclaimed 2014 as the Year of A Better Bottom Line to highlight successful operations thanks in part to the contributions of people with disabilities, while urging other employers to consider this skilled and capable workforce.

DVR is actively serving almost 17,000 job seekers with disabilities and, during the federal fiscal year that ended September 30, placed 4,415 individuals in a variety of positions. The newly employed individuals are projected to earn $78.3 million annually, more than double the taxpayer investment in their services.

For more information:

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/
Governor's Proclamation: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/pdf/disability_employment_awareness_month.pdf
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