Why Employing People with Disabilities Means a Better Bottom Line for Business and Government

A Better Bottom Line: Employing People With Disabilities

From: The National Governor’s Association 2012-2013 Chair’s Initiative
Read the full report HERE

The U.S. labor force is experiencing a rapidly changing economy. The Arc Prince George’s County, along with our partners, supporters, donors and neighbors, is committed to ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to find meaningful employment. The National Governor’s Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s, most respected public policy organizations. THE NGA CENTER FOR BEST PRACTICES (NGA Center) is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors and their key policy staff. Governors rely on the NGA Center to provide tailored technical assistance for challenges facing their states, identify and share best practices from across the country, and host meetings of leading policymakers, program officials and scholars. Through research reports, policy analyses, cross-state learning labs, state grants, and other unique services, the NGA Center quickly informs governors what works, what does not, and what lessons can be learned from others grappling with similar issues.

During the 2012 – 2013 NGA Chair’s Initiative activities, The NGA learned from businesses and other experts that many reasons exist for making disability employment a workforce development strategy. Businesses and employers of all types are looking for skilled workers and are finding them among people with disabilities.

  • Businesses are looking for skilled workers to fill open positions and have been struggling to do so over the past few years. A report by McKinsey Global Institute—released in 2011, when unemployment was above 9 percent—found that one-third of U.S. companies had positions open for more than six months that they could not fill.
  • Businesses report positive outcomes from employing people with disabilities. Walgreens, for example, has experienced a 120 percent productivity increase at a distribution center made universally accessible and more than 50 percent of whose employees are disabled. (Greg Wasson, CEO of Walgreens. Opening Plenary speech. NGA Winter Meeting, February 2013.)
  • Global companies like Microsoft and Merck have said that they must employ a workforce that reflects their consumer base, which includes people with disabilities (1 billion people globally report having a disability).
  • Of the estimated 54 million Americans living with a disability, 20 percent are employed or seeking employment, compared to almost 70 percent of Americans without a disability.
  • People with disabilities bring valuable skills to the workforce. For example, more than 600,000 scientists and engineers currently employed in the United States have disabilities.
  • Some of the top innovators in the United States have disabilities, including the chief executive officers of Ford Motor Company, Apple, Xerox, and Turner Television.
  • Nearly 8 percent of the 3 million civilian federal government employees, or approximately 240,000 people, have disabilities, as do thousands of state employees across the country. As the facts suggest, businesses are willing to hire people with disabilities, and people with disabilities are proving that they are valued employees. Advancements in technology are making it possible for more people with disabilities to participate in all types of employment settings. For example, accommodations that were once out of the ordinary and expensive are now offered as mobile apps for smart phones and tablet computers.

Despite the potential for people with disabilities to contribute to the workforce and advancements in technology that allow them to do so, many are not afforded an opportunity. The Arc Prince George’s seeks to help provide these opportunities with the help of business leaders in our community.


Job Seekers: Download our Employment Services Brochure HERE

Employers: Download our Employer Brochure HERE


Interested in learning more about our Employment Services Programs?

Complete the below form or contact: Director of Workforce Development Ciara Hosein at
CHosein@thearcofpgc.org or 240-532-6005 x 9

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