MDSC Pilots Regional Events to Educate Employers About Hiring People with Disabilities

"Diversify Your Workforce" Events Launching in June

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| Source: Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress

BURLINGTON, Mass., May 31, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and the state's Regional Employment Collaboratives are launching a series of regional workshops around the state to educate employers and human resources professionals on ways to expand their workforce by hiring people with disabilities.

The forums, which are launching in early June with events in Boston's North Shore and Central Massachusetts, represent the next phase of the MDSC's Your Next Star public awareness campaign, which has been opening the eyes of employers to the immeasurable value of people with Down syndrome and other disabilities in the workplace. The forums will continue throughout the fall in other regions of the state, including Greater Boston, South Shore and Cape Cod and Western Massachusetts.

"Local businesses have shown a boost in their competitive edge by making people with disabilities an integral part of their workforce and customer base," said MDSC Communications Director Josh Komyerov. "However, people with disabilities have historically faced enormous hurdles when getting jobs."

"We are excited to discuss with employers how they can access this untapped job pool to find qualified candidates and answer all their questions," said Don Hughes, a Vice-President at Riverside Community Care, which runs five of the state's employment collaboratives.

The "Diversify Your Workforce" events include a mix of experts and "regular" people who will help employers understand how business make disability hiring work for them:

  • Model employers like Home Depot, CVS, Mutual of Omaha and Dave & Busters explaining the nuts and bolts of hiring people with disabilities and why it's been good for their business
  • Top disability attorneys speaking to the ins and outs of hiring someone with disabilities
  • State legislators and administration officials explaining the state's efforts to create inclusive workforce environments.
  • Individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities speaking personally about their own experiences, successes and challenges

Employers and HR professionals may register for the June 2 event at the RJ Kelly office building in Burlington, Mass. at www.mdsc.kintera.org/YNSnorth to reserve a space.

Registration for the Central Mass event at the Milford National Bank Headquarters on June 9 in Milford, Mass. is available at www.mdsc.kintera.org/YNScentral. These workshops are free and lunch is provided. Seats are limited for both events.

About the MDSC

For more than three decades, the MDSC has been the premier organization for Down syndrome information, networking and advocacy in Massachusetts. The MDSC offers a broad array of programs to serve people with Down syndrome and their families throughout the state, including: Parents First Call, Advocates in Motion, Self Advocate Advisory Council, Annual Conference, Educators Forum, Adult Conference & social and recreation events, Allen Crocker Self-Advocate Internship Program, Your Next Star employment campaign, and advocacy on a State and National level.

About MA Regional Employment Collaboratives

Massachusetts is home to a number of Regional Employment Collaboratives, five of which are services of Riverside Community Care www.riversidecc.org working to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services, and the Department of Mental Health, the Employment Collaboratives work like portals, contacting and engaging a wide variety of employers, determining their needs, and helping them match potential job opportunities with qualified applicants with disabilities. In the last twelve months, the Collaboratives have helped employers across Massachusetts fill job vacancies with qualified job candidates. For general information, contact Stephanie L. Marks, MEd, Director of Employment Collaboratives, for Riverside Community Care, at (781) 686-8146 or smarks@riversidecc.org.

Josh Komyerov, , Director of Communications, 781-221-0024 ext. 202