More often over the past years, businesses have started to gradually hire more disabled workers.
Ben Phillips, the owner of PizzaManiac, the local pizzeria in Vista, hired his first disabled employee, Kevin Latimer, about a year and a half ago, and hasn’t had a regret since.
“The local school had given me a call, asking if I’d be willing to have a few of their disabled students come in an hour a day and work,” he explained, “They were all really happy to be there, and one of them was so interested so I actually hired him, and he’s still working here.”
Phillips recalled when he was about 10 years of age having a disabled family member whom he said,”was awesome and had a good soul, and I enjoy being able to relive those memories.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment for disabled workers was down to eight percent, being that its the lowest it had been since it was at a sky-high 15 percent in 2011, when our nation was recovering from The Great Recession.
The overall rate of unemployment for disabled is roughly double that of the non-disabled. However, that rate will continue to decline as business open their doors and begin hiring workers even with a labeled disability.
Latimer, categorized as a disabled worker, has been working at PizzaManiac for over a year as a part-time busboy, had explained, “My coworkers are really cool, and they think I’m fun to have around. I know most of the customers that come in and I enjoy serving them food.”
Latimer, also working full-time in the dairy department and as a cashier at Albertsons in Vista, had said, “It’s a good job to have. It has its ups and downs like every other job has, but my life is good, and we’re making money right?”
Some businesses choose to hire those who are disabled because of the financial benefits, although others choose to do it in order to impact their life, by giving them a chance to feel involved and engaged with society.
“They benefit me by giving me a want to help and make them feel as if they deserve these chances. As far as the business goes, I’m not a huge part of it, but what they bring to the employees and customers makes it all worth it for me. It’s a touching kind of thing being able to do what I do. I genuinely enjoy their attitude, and they come in super excited about the job, which makes me happy,” Phillips said.
Many studies have shown that people with disabilities are more likely to take less days off from work, and tend to work the job longer than others, as mentioned in an article on The Chicago Lighthouse.
In addition, businesses that are eligible have the ability to receive various tax credits in order to assist them with hiring and helping aid the workers. Hiring those with disabilities can also create a good brand image for a company, because of their outreach in diversity and demonstrations of equality.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, a vast range of programs work with human resource departments and job candidates to offer placement services and training to disabled employees.
There are groups that offer training to businesses as well. For example: The Sierra Group is a group headquartered in Philadelphia, dedicated to training companies and businesses, along with their employees, how to work with those who are disabled/have special needs.
There’s a very important reason why more companies and businesses are beginning to increasingly fill positions with disabled employees. In many opinions, a disabled citizen should not be turned away because of an assumption that they are incapable of doing a job, yet they should be given a chance to be a part of a workplace.
There are many hopes that eventually, all of our country’s businesses will set aside their personal thoughts and being open to hiring any individual no matter their label.