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Labor Dept. Launches Database of Workers with Disabilities

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

girl in wheelchair with scotty dog

Looking for an intern? The Department of Labor has launched a database of more than 2,500 college and entry-level students with disabilities, as part of the government’s efforts to increase federal and private-sector initiatives to source and hire workers with disabilities. The program supports President Obama’s executive order that aims to employ 100,000 people with disabilities in five years in the federal sector.

“This database is filled with talented students who are highly motivated to prove their skills in the workplace,” says Kathy Martinez, the Assistant Secretary to the Department of Labor who heads the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Candidates listed in the database represent all academic backgrounds, and all are working toward, or have recently earned, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and law degrees. Students have been interviewed by recruiters from various federal agencies. Some seek summer employment, while others are looking for regular, full-time positions.
It’s easy for federal officials to identify candidates. They can visit http://www.wrp.gov to register and search independently for job seekers who meet their hiring needs. They also can track the status of candidates they are interested in interviewing, including whether they already have been hired.

Private-sector employers have to take a few extra steps to find candidates. They can fill out an online form at ODEP’s Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN) website, call 866-EARN-HOW Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm Eastern, or send an email to earn@earnworks.com. Earnworks offers free consulting services for businesses and organizations that seek to hire this group.

If you’re a federal agency, this is a great avenue to find entry-level workers. For private sector employers, it takes a couple of extra steps but Earnworks will respond. The downside for many employers is that the Department’s database does not include mid- and senior- level candidates, so if you’re looking for more qualified persons you’ll need to conduct your search elsewhere, such as with Hire Disability Solutions!