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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, 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
Monday, October 3, 2016
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

Governor Walker Proclaims October as Disability Employment Awareness Month

Integral role individuals with disabilities have in Wisconsin's economic success to be highlighted during several events

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month to build awareness of contributions that job seekers with disabilities bring to the workforce and to encourage more employers to hire workers with disabilities. Officials from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and partners will take part in a series of events throughout October to commemorate the month.

"I am proud of the commitment that workers with disabilities demonstrate day-in and day-out to their employers," Governor Scott Walker said. "These workers are among the most dedicated, hardworking and reliable employees that businesses have, and through their many abilities, these men and women contribute to not only their employers' bottom line, but the entire state of Wisconsin's. By celebrating their contributions to Wisconsin's workforce throughout the month of October, I hope that more businesses will expand their workforce and hire more job seekers with disabilities."

In federal fiscal year 2015, nearly 5,000 individuals with disabilities reached their employment goal, and now earn an estimated $85 million annually in wages. DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) works with both individuals with disabilities and Wisconsin employers to help DVR consumers achieve their employment goals, move toward greater independence and enjoy the pride that the dignity of work provides.

"Through traditional DVR services as well as programs like Project SEARCH and Wisconsin Promise, DWD continues to provide exceptional services to this vital component of Wisconsin's workforce," DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. "I ask that everyone join me and Governor Walker in recognizing the many abilities that workers with disabilities bring to the table, and celebrate their commitment to greater independence throughout the month of October."

During the month, dozens of businesses will be honored for their commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. DWD officials and regional partners will hold a series of events recognizing the role businesses play in employing individuals with disabilities and highlight DVR consumer success stories.

A Better Bottom Line

Governor Walker launched the year of A Better Bottom Line initiative in 2014 in support of overcoming obstacles to employment for people with disabilities. A Better Bottom Line, tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, promotes employment opportunities for people with disabilities through recognition, education and investments in programs including Project SEARCH, which helps young people with disabilities transition from high school to the workplace. Governor Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity increases the number of participating Project SEARCH businesses by 20, up from seven, over three years.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation website

The Governor's Disability Employment Awareness Month Proclamation