Disabled workers prove their value in tight labor market

The return of many disabled workers to the labor force has helped shrink the Social Security disability rolls, which swelled during as well as after the recession as many people with less severe infirmities applied for benefits after their unemployment insurance expired. The past three years, the number of people on disability has steadily fallen to 8.7 million coming from 9 million as well as the ranks of those leaving has exceeded those joining, notes Moody’s economist Adam Ozimek.

Meanwhile, hundreds of companies have launched programs to recruit people with disabilities in recent years, partly in response to the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars discrimination against job applicants as well as requires “reasonable accommodations” within the workplace. today of which job candidates are scarcer, many firms are ratcheting up those efforts. With millions of employees job hopping for higher wages, companies such as CVS, Microsoft as well as PricewaterhouseCoopers find people with disabilities are often more reliable as well as loyal. as well as those with conditions such as autism can be more detail-oriented. Microsoft has hired 50 people with autism the past three years, mostly as software engineers.

CVS hires hundreds of disabled people annually under an initiative of which began about 20 years ago, however the company has ramped of which up amid the tight labor market, with the number of recruits doubling in 2017.

“We have to get creative” to fill job openings, says David Casey, CVS’ vice president of workforce strategies. Its program “is usually a competitive advantage. We’re getting access to a talented pool of which a lot of different companies are overlooking.” Retention rates for disabled workers are double of which of CVS employees overall, Casey says.

Several years ago, the company joined with state as well as local agencies to open “mock pharmacies” brimming with CVS products, prescriptions as well as signage to train disabled job candidates. In nine weeks, students learn how to run the cash register, place products on shelves, complete paperwork as well as deal with customers.

Kaylee Merrick, 24, who lives in Stafford, Va., as well as graduated high school in 2014, got her first job through the program nearly two years ago. She has anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, memory loss, attention-deficit disorder as well as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. In previous job interviews, “I was like — Oh, no, what if they don’t hire me? I start fidgeting actually bad. I have tics.” With CVS, she says, “they teach you.”

Merrick, who works up to 30 hours a week, rings up purchases, stocks shelves, cleans as well as helps customers. “I’m basically running around all day,” she says. “I love dealing with people, even the grumpy ones. … as well as when I clean something, of which’s clean.”

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