South Dakota Retailers Association Selected as Disability Inclusion Pilot Site
South Dakota Retailers Association Selected as Pilot Site for Department of Labor Disability Inclusion Pilot
PIERRE, S.D.-The South Dakota Retailers Association (SDRA) is one of three membership associations in the nation selected to participate in a national pilot program designed to increase workplace inclusion of people with disabilities.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), "Getting Down to Business: A Pilot to Strengthen Small Business Through Disability Inclusion" is providing the groups with customized assistance to help them increase the capacity of their members to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities.
As a pilot site, SDRA will work this year with an ODEP-funded technical assistance team to implement strategies to help their member businesses create more disability-inclusive workplaces.
SDRA is in the process of launching an advisory group that will work on several projects, including developing plans for an internship or job shadowing program matching youth with disabilities with employers. Over the next six months, the group will also present workshops and webinars for employers, and will develop materials to help guide South Dakota employers through the process of finding and hiring employees who have disabilities. Pilot activities will help to promote a variety of outreach efforts throughout the state during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.
“We believe everyone benefits when individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to successfully compete for good jobs,” said Shawn Lyons, Executive Director of SDRA. “This pilot project is helping us put the framework in place to connect our members with employees who have disabilities, and to provide ongoing education and resources for employers.”
The South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is working closely with SDRA on the pilot project.
“With SDRA being selected as one of three business associations nationwide to be part of this pilot study, it’s another accomplishment our state is making towards the goal of increasing employment opportunities for South Dakotans with disabilities,” said DRS Business Specialist Kim Hoberg. “The collaboration and partnership that DRS and SDRA share is immensely appreciated and we look forward to future partnership endeavors.”
The two other sites selected for participation in the pilot are the Entrepreneurs Organization of DC and the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.