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Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
BLACK RIVER FALLS – Hansen's IGA Market District Manager Shawn Christiansen supports providing internship opportunities that help people with disabilities explore their individual skillsets and determine tasks in which they excel.
"Individuals with disabilities are often underestimated for what they can contribute to the workforce," Christiansen said. "We feel everyone should have an opportunity to work, and this is just one great way for us to support individuals in our community, and the community as a whole."
On Oct. 17, Lt. Governor Sara Rodriguez joined Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) leaders and local partners in presenting Hansen's Market IGA with an Exemplary Employer Award. The store is one of approximately 20 Wisconsin businesses being recognized for diverse and inclusive hiring practices throughout October, which Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed as National Disability Employment Awareness Month in Wisconsin.
"Hansen's Market IGA is having a positive impact in Black River Falls and serves as an example for other employers in communities across the state," Lt. Gov. Rodriguez said. "More businesses are hiring job seekers with disabilities to meet their need for skilled workers and, at the same time, building a workforce that reflects the diversity of our state. This is a true win-win for everyone."
The award ceremony also featured remarks by representatives from DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), partnering local service agencies, and current employee Everette Burge, who is a former DVR consumer.
All Wisconsin employers are encouraged to reach out to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to meet with a local Business Services Consultant who can connect them with a variety of free resources to help recruit and hire people with disabilities, build staff diversity, and retain well-trained employees.
Last year, more than 2,000 employers created more inclusive workplaces in Wisconsin by hiring job seekers with disabilities, and DVR helped over 3,350 Wisconsin residents with disabilities find work over the past year. Individuals with a disability looking for ways to find a job, keep a job, or get a better job are encouraged to contact DVR at 800-262-0050, visit a local DVR office, or visit the DVR website.
To help provide employers with educational resources to diversify their workplace and create work environments that help retain employees, and to give employees information about their rights and responsibilities in the workforce, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has created new online accommodation trainings for employers, workers, and job seekers.
The Accommodation Training Library consists of brief, informational videos that cover topics, including hiring people with disabilities, the reasonable accommodation process, disclosing a disability, disability discrimination, and other topics related to employment law. The new accommodation training videos can be found on the DWD Career Pathways website.
The videos were created as part of a U.S. Department of Education Career Pathways Advancement (CPA) Initiative grant awarded to DVR in 2021. The CPA Initiative is allowing DVR to create resources and opportunities to support DVR consumers as they advance in their careers.
Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions – Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.