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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
HUDSON – When business owner Angel Duratti learned that her store, Angel's Pet World, was being recognized for its diverse and inclusive hiring practices, she expressed surprise and asked, "I get a reward for doing the right thing?"
On Oct. 18, Angel's Pet World of Hudson was recognized for its commitment to welcoming individuals with disabilities into its workforce with an Exemplary Employer Award. The company works closely with local service provider Sonya's Employment Options to open its doors to job seekers being served through the Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DWD/DVR).
The award was presented as Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed October National Disability Employment Awareness Month in Wisconsin to highlight businesses that recruit and hire people with disabilities. Last year, more than 2,000 employers created more inclusive workplaces in Wisconsin. Angel's Pet World is one of more than 20 businesses being recognized throughout the month for leading the way to building a more diverse workforce in the state. DVR's Deputy Bureau of Consumer Services, Anna Eggebrecht, presented the award during an event at Angel's Pet World.
“Angel's Pet World is making a difference in Hudson, and the company serves as a great example of how local employers can meet their workforce needs while having a positive impact not only on their employees, but on their communities as well,” DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek said. “They demonstrate that hiring people with disabilities is not only the right thing to do, but it's good for business, too.”
Angel encourages other businesses to provide opportunities for this skilled, dedicated, and capable workforce. She added, "There would be so many more employers willing to do this if they just gave it a chance, and if they had someone like Sonya (Sonya's Employment Options), and her job coaches that advise us and teach us."
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.
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.