November05,2014

A Seasonal Job – Should I Take It?

A photo of Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder of Employment Options, Inc.

By Guest Blogger Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder of Employment Options Inc.

Many jobseekers wonder if they should accept a seasonal position. For one thing, it seems like a lot of information to learn for only a few weeks or months of work. Some job seekers feel that working at a seasonal position will not leave them a lot of time to look for a better job. Nonetheless, I recommend seasonal employment for many reasons.

BUILD YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE

It is a good idea to take a seasonal work-at-home or community position if you are having trouble getting a permanent position. Employers are usually more lenient about candidates’ work history during seasonal hiring and will often accept people with little directly related work experience if they have the aptitude and desire to do the job.

TEST WORKING

It is also a good way to try a new career or re-enter the workplace again. With a seasonal position, you can ‘test the waters’ to find out whether you like working in a particular field. There are many jobs in work-at-home, too, so if you have been thinking about home-based work, this would be an ideal time to try it. Moreover, seasonal jobs help you find out if you have the physical, intellectual and emotional ability to sustain work. And get paid while you do it!

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October31,2014

Helping Disabled Veterans to Start Small Businesses

An image of an American flag with the shadow of a military veteran saluting.

By Guest Blogger Cecelia Taylor, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Communications and Public Liaison

If you are a veteran or service-disabled veteran, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has resources to help you start and grow your small business. From creating a business plan to finding your first customer, we’re here to help you succeed.

SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) exists to serve the veteran-owned small business community. Veterans are a particular focus for SBA because veteran-owned small businesses account for a large percentage of small businesses.

Did you know?

  • An estimated 8.3 percent of veteran business owners have service-related disabilities.
  • Veterans are at least 45 percent more likely than those with no military experience to be entrepreneurs.
  • U.S. military veterans own 2.4 million businesses (or nearly 10 percent of all businesses nationwide).
  • Veteran-owned businesses generated $1.2 trillion in receipts (i.e., four percent of all businesses’ receipts nationwide) and employ nearly 5.8 million people.

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October20,2014

WIOA Helps Individuals with Disabilities Pursue and Obtain Well-Paying Employment Opportunities

Headshot of Amy Scherer, staff attorney for the National Disability Rights Network.

By Guest Blogger Amy Scherer, Staff Attorney, National Disability Rights Network

There have been several important advancements that have enhanced the lives of people with a variety of disabilities and facilitated their further inclusion into society; including greater availability of wheelchair accessible housing, acceptance of service animals in public places and use of assistive technology allowing more independent access to public transportation.

In spite of this, one central area where people with disabilities continue to be left out in the cold involves employment. Unfortunately, the philosophy that some people are simply “too disabled” to be employed is still commonly believed. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13.4 percent of people with disabilities are currently unemployed. The impact of this number is even more striking when compared to the 7.9 percent unemployment rate of people without disabilities. Similarly, based on 2013 data, only 20.3 percent of people with disabilities participate in the labor force as opposed to 68.9 percent of people without disabilities – a stunning 48.6 percent gap. This disparity is unacceptable.

Further complicating the situation is a particular section of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – known as 14(c) – that actually makes it legal to pay people with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage. In addition to receiving lower pay rates, people with disabilities are often placed in segregated environments where, except for aids or supervisors, they only interact with other people with disabilities.

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October08,2014

A Disability Doesn’t Have to Limit Your Potential

Harley Thomas, the director of corporate marketing, Industries for the Blind, Inc. – Milwaukee

By Guest Blogger Harley Thomas, Senior Director of Corporate and Digital Marketing, Industries for the Blind, Inc. – Milwaukee 

Having a disability and finding employment can be a huge challenge. Having a disability and finding fulfilling employment with advancement opportunities is an even greater challenge. 

At Industries for the Blind, Inc. — Milwaukee, increasing employment of people who are blind or have low vision is our top priority. We aim to not only increase employment, but also create well-defined paths for advancement, giving our talented professionals a clear track to upward mobility. We want to prove that people with disabilities have just as much opportunity as non-disabled. We’ve developed strategies allowing us to employ people who are blind or have low vision in virtually every area of our operations. In all, more than 100 professionals who are blind make their way to our company every day.

Following are a few examples of successful individuals with disabilities at our company who hold a variety of important positions:

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October06,2014

Building Inclusion

Image of NDEAM 2014 Theme: Expect.Employ.Empower and the words What can YOU do? There is a photograph of the back of a woman with long hair sitting in a wheelchair wearing a business suit.

By Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor (reposted from the Work in Progress blog)

This week, I have had the pleasure of attending the U.S. Business Leadership Network conference, the nation’s largest gathering of employers committed to a diverse workforce inclusive of people with disabilities. As in previous years, it is serving as a most fitting kick-off to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

While here, I find myself thinking about just how much the conversation about disability and employment has changed in recent years, and for the better. Throughout the workshops and presentations, one message has resounded loud and clear: The way forward is less about individual policies and programs and more about culture and commitment. It’s about choosing and building inclusion.

This affirmed my deep-seated belief that true progress on disability employment requires a broader view than we as a society have afforded it in the past. That’s not to say individual policies and programs aren’t important, because they are. But they alone are not enough. Rather, they’re the individual building blocks that support a larger structure, one we all play an important role in shaping, whether we have a disability or not.

To me, this new paradigm is encapsulated beautifully in this year’s NDEAM theme: Expect. Employ. Empower. Those three brief but powerful words provide a framework for a more holistic approach to increased workforce inclusion of those of us with disabilities. And we have seen significant strengthening of this framework in just the last few months. For example, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which is modernizing and improving our nation’s workforce development system, includes a specific focus on increasing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including significant disabilities. In this way, it’s helping increase expectation.

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