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Hiring Qualified People with Disabilities Featured on News Channel 5+ Inside Workforce Development

Friday, September 08, 2017 | 09:15am


Friday, Sept. 8, 2017

CONTACT: Dept. of Labor - Chris Cannon, 615-741-2257; Council on Developmental Disabilities - Emma Shouse, 615-253-5368

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development and the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities have partnered for the second year in a row to promote awareness of the positive impact and skills that employees with disabilities can bring to the workplace this week on “Inside Workforce Development”.

“Tennesseans with disabilities have been underrepresented in the workforce, but they have real job skills and positive attributes to offer to employers,” Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips said. “Tennessee is more focused than ever before on preparing students with disabilities leaving high school with the work experience and soft skills employers look for in potential employees.”

The Council on Developmental Disabilities leads initiatives to improve disability policies and practices, educates policymakers and the public about most promising practices in the field of disability services, and facilitates collaboration across public and private organizations. Promoting employment opportunities for Tennesseans with disabilities is a top priority and commitment for the Council. The Council has recently worked to create innovative internship opportunities for Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities within state government, including in the Governor’s Office and Department of Economic and Community Development. They also convene a monthly Employment Roundtable that brings together 10 state departments to improve coordination in disability employment services.

"We are thrilled to partner again with the Department of Labor on sponsoring this episode of 'Inside Workforce Development' to showcase how employers can connect to one of Tennessee's greatest untapped pools of qualified employees, Tennesseans with disabilities," said Wanda Willis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities. "We know so many Tennesseans with disabilities want to and can work, they just need opportunities for them to demonstrate their skills and strengths in the workplace. This year’s program features a talented young employee with a disability who is thriving in her job, her supervisor who helps her succeed, and the Chief Operating Officer at HealthStream who discusses how employers benefit from providing opportunities to jobseekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Watch the program on News Channel 5's website here.

Hosted by Chris Cannon, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Inside Workforce Development is a monthly series highlighting major Tennessee employers in different industry sectors. Some industries the show will focus on are healthcare, retail, transportation, information technology, manufacturing and technical services. Inside Workforce Development is available to more than 650,000 homes in middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky and reaches more than 230,000 viewers each week. It will be shown on Comcast Cable channel 250, Charter Cable channel 182 and over-the-air digital channel 5.2, as well as other cable systems throughout the viewing area. The show will air on Thursdays from 9:30-10:00 a.m. and will have an encore airing on Saturdays from 7:30-8:00 a.m.