Creating a Skilled Workforce

There is a lot of momentum around the country concerning inclusive workforces. The word is out that people with disabilities, even severe disabilities, can be employees who contribute to a business’s net worth.

We have compiled some blogs, specific blog posts, and newsletters that you may find useful as you work toward inclusive employment. Keep them for future reference or share them with others.

If you have found other helpful inclusive employment resources, please share them in the comments below.

Creating a Skilled Workforce

On’s Disability Blog, guest blogger Judy Owen of Opportunity Works, Inc. raises important questions about transportation and education practices. What do you think can be done to promote greater skill development for students while they’re still in school and better transportation options so people can get to work?

A New Mode of Inclusion and Opportunity 

Again on’s Disability Blog, guest blogger Mary Hartley of 21 and Able writes about a collaboration among Allegheny County, United Way of Allegheny County’s 21 and Able Initiative, and Giant Eagle. This collaboration looks to create work experiences for students with disabilities while they are still in high school, setting them up for greater success in employment once they graduate. To facilitate these opportunities, they developed a career transition liaison within the business, Giant Eagle. Do you have other ideas for how to create more opportunities for high school students to gain work experience and build their skills? Share them in the comments.

The Pennsylvania Employment Reform Resource Project 

In eastern Pennsylvania, there is a focus on a person-centered approach to finding employment. The Pennsylvania Employment Reform Resource Project provides information about customizing a job search. It is a good site for success stories, showcasing collaborative grassroots efforts and providing practical ideas on how people accomplish their employment goals.

Employment First

Employment First is a policy or mindset that focuses on integrated, community-based employment earning at or above the minimum wage as the first option for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. When using these Employment First policies, states are tapping the skills and contributions of these individuals to match employer demand for a reliable, productive workforce through customized employment opportunities.

Job Squad, Inc.’s Community Economic Development Blog 

Located in West Virginia, Job Squad, Inc. discusses opportunities, ideas, and needs around inclusive employment. They highlight current Employment First activities and outcomes, plus have numerous links to various employment first discussions. While they encourage joining a dialogue about Community Economic Development Program in supporting West Virginians to get what they want out of work, the  discussions and links offered are valuable to anyone focused on creating a skilled and inclusive workforce.


The LEAD Center is a collaborative of disability, workforce and economic empowerment organizations dedicated to a single mission: advancing sustainable individual and systems level change to improve competitive, integrated employment and economic self-sufficiency for all people across the spectrum of disability.

Led by the National Disability Institute with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the LEAD Center—known formally as the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD)—brings together a range of organizations, thought leaders and best-practice innovators to expand policy, employment, leadership, and economic advancement opportunities and outcomes for all people with disabilities.

Diversity World

This newsletter is intended to support the work of people who are engaged in developing the careers, vocations, livelihoods, jobs and/or work of other individuals. It is their belief that everyone’s work life can and should be molded and crafted to be the expression of our finest gifts and a source of great joy. The content of these newsletters include both practical tools and inspirational ideas.

There are many other good resources out there about inclusive employment and finding job opportunities for people with disabilities. Please share the other resources you have found in the comments.




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