For Immediate Release - May 08, 2013

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and U.S. Department of Labor Partner on Statewide Hiring Events for People with Disabilities

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and partners at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractors Compliance Program (OFCCP) today announced the successful conclusion to the first ever series of Career Hiring Events for people with disabilities. Throughout March and April, the hiring events connected qualified job-ready candidates with disabilities together with competitive employment opportunities in businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

The joint venture between MRC and OFCCP brought together more than 175 pre-screened job-ready MRC consumers with 36 ready-to-hire New England federal contractors. As a result of the Career Hiring Events, 47 qualified candidates with disabilities were offered positions, and an additional 84 candidates are now moving forward in hiring process.

“One of the ways we support Community First efforts is connecting job-ready candidates with disabilities with employers who are ready to hire,” said HHS Secretary John Polanowicz. “This partnership continues to fulfill our mission to provide supported pathways for independent living.”

The inaugural event kicked off on March 26, 2013 at the John F. Kennedy building in Boston, with additional hiring events convening throughout April in Greenfield, Milford, Springfield, Sturbridge and Worcester. Available opportunities ranged from entry-level, mid-level, and professional positions in the fields of construction, education, energy, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, security, and telecommunications.

Over the past three years, despite the downturn in the economy, MRC has exceeded its goals for assisting people with disabilities obtain and maintain employment. In 2012, MRC placed 3,487 consumers into successful competitive employment opportunities. In addition to job placement, MRC offers a range of services including, career development, vocational training, job search skill development and post-employment support. As a result of MRC’s comprehensive approach, these successfully placed consumers have collectively earned nearly $62 million in wages during their first year of employment.

“During this great economic recession the Commonwealth has been challenged with providing its citizens with the resources and innovative thinking needed to get them back to work,” said MRC Commissioner Charles Carr. “I am both moved and encouraged by the participating Massachusetts companies who have taken the first step by offering good paying, competitive, and integrated jobs for our consumers. I challenge the business community as a whole who want an inclusive and skilled workforce to become our partners. Let's get together and hire some great people.”

MRC’s vocational rehabilitation services have offered great reciprocal benefits to both employees and employers. Consumers become active members of the community, contributing taxes and reducing the need for public assistance. While companies that partner with MRC have taken advantage of tax incentives, lower recruiting costs, and enhanced business practices by offering a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

As part of the Community First initiative, the Patrick-Murray Administration has maintained a strong commitment to job growth and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. Further supporting President Barack Obama’s 2009 federal initiative to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, this innovative partnership enhances MRC’s ability to provide comprehensive employment services to and maximize the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Employers seeking to hire candidates and have participated in the Career Hiring Events included Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, CVS/Caremark, Enterprise Rental Car, ManPower, Allied Barton, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Enterasys, MIT, Raytheon, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission promotes equality, empowerment and independence of individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouraging personal choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community. MRC provides comprehensive services to people with disabilities that maximize their quality of life and economic self-sufficiency in the community. To learn more about the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) please visit, www.mass.gov/mrc. To learn how your business can become a partner, please call the employment team at 617-204-3722.

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