According to a 2015 American Community Survey, 14.9 percent of Alabamians are living with a disability, 21,283 individuals are unemployed. Employment is one way to support and improve their quality of their life while adding to the diversity of the state’s workforce.
Which is why Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced the Governor’s Inaugural Disability Job Fair. It will take place during National Disability Employment Awareness Month — an month-long, nationwide celebration of the contributions of workers with disabilities and an opportunity to educate the public about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents — in October.
Ivey made the announcement at United Ability, formerly United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham, following a tour of their facility which provides a wide range of programs to assist children and adults living with disabilities.
“Since becoming Governor, I have made it my priority to increase employment opportunities for all Alabamians. The inaugural Governor’s Disability Job Fair is just the start of what I hope will continue bridging the gap between employers and individuals with disabilities,” Ivey said. “When our state agencies work together, share resources and partner with the private sector to help connect businesses looking to hire with individuals actively seeking employment, Alabamians can rest assured we are doing our best to improve their quality of life.”
The first Governor’s Disability Job Fair will be held on October 30th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham. The job fair is being made possible by a joint partnership between United Ability and several state agencies including the Department of Labor, Department of Mental Health, Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Governor’s Office on Disability.
“We brought dozens of employers together last year for a Disability Employment Summit, and today’s announcement of the Governor’s Disability Job Fair is a direct result of that effort,” Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor Fitzgerald Washington explained. “Employers are ready and willing to offer opportunities to Alabamians living with a disability, and there are thousands of Alabamians ready and willing to do the work. We’re here to help bring them together.”
“The Governor’s Office on Disability is proud to be one of the partners supporting the first Governor’s Disability Job Fair. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities continues to remain unacceptably high,” Executive Director of the Governor’s Office on Disability Graham Sisson added. “This event will continue the state’s combined efforts to increase employment opportunities for those with significant disabilities. I applaud Governor Ivey’s leadership in this area.”
Employers and jobseekers can register online for the job fair at labor.alabama.gov/jobfair by selecting the “Governor’s Disability Job Fair” tab.