Governor Jack Markell of Delaware begins his chairmanship of the National Governors Association by announcing an initiative to increase job opportunities for the disabled.
“The bottom line is that there are so many people with disabilities who have the time, talent and desire to make meaningful contributions to interested employers,” Markell said as he was installed as NGA chairman at its annual meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia. “More companies are recognizing that increasing greater economic opportunity for these workers improves their own bottom line as well.”
The initiative, titled A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities, will examine the challenges facing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they seek employment, and the role that governments and businesses can play in developing job opportunities in the competitive labor market. Markell plans to convene governors, business leaders and advocates for the disabled throughout the year to exchange ideas and develop plans for success.
“It’s inspiring to see how many leaders from the public and private sectors are committing themselves to this cause and pledging to work together on something that builds both economic and social capital,” Markell said. “There are major employers in every state who recongize the value of creating opportunity.”
While Markell, a Democrat, is chair of the NGA, the vice chair will be Republican Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.