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“Employment First” Initiative In Athens County

PersonnelPlus Employment Services is proud to be a part of a state and national movement to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. On March 19th, 2012, Governor John Kasich signed Executive Order 2012-05k establishing Ohio as an “Employment First” State. The Employment First initiative means that Ohio County Boards of Developmental Disabilities would create board policy stating that community employment is their first and foremost priority prior to considering individuals for sheltered employment or day habilitation services.

Our former PersonnelPlus Director, Doug Mitchell, is one of many Ohio’s community employment leaders who are serving on a state sub-committee to help to develop recommendations for policy that will guide implementation and improve employment outcomes for workers with disabilities. Ohio has joined well over 30 states that are now designated as employment first states. This national movement has come to Ohio in part due to “customer demand” and “sustainability” of County Board delivery of services. According to a 2011 review of Ohio’s Developmental Disability System, “52.7% of working age adults in the DD system do not have a job and would like one. While more than 50% want employment, the data shows that only 15% of Ohioans in the DD system have jobs in their community.” In terms of sustainability, a study by Dr. Cimera of Kent State University in 2008 demonstrated that integrated employment is one-third of the cost of sheltered employment.

PersonnelPlus is one of the most successful employment services in the state of Ohio and is well in place to implement the state’s Employment First Initiative. In September of 2013, PersonnelPlus will celebrate its 30th year as a training and employment business servicing both area businesses in need of dependable and reliable workers, as well as workers with disabilities wishing to enter the workforce. PersonnelPlus has over 70 workers with disabilities working in Athens County and trains and employs 30 summer employment workers each year. For more information, please contact the PersonnelPlus office at 740-592-3416.

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