|Thursday, October 15, 2015
From the President’s Desk | Accessing an Untapped Talent Pool: The Power of People with Disabilities
According to ADA 25 Chicago, nearly 1.5 million (11.1 percent) of people living in Illinois have a disability. In Chicago, that number is nearly 300,000 (10.9 percent). According to the 2012 Illinois Disability Status Report, 35% of people with disabilities in the state are currently employed, compared to 75% of people without disabilities.
RespectAbility, a national non-profit that works to empower people with disabilities in our society, reports that the majority of Americans with disabilities of working age want to work. Moreover, people with disabilities have equal or higher performance rates compared to those without disabilities, they motivate other employees and they help establish a positive company image.
The business community needs qualified workers to fill its changing job requirements. As our recent Chamber surveys demonstrate, many local businesses today are unable to find qualified job applicants through traditional recruitment channels. Recruiting, marketing, and hiring from this largely untapped talent pool of job applicants with disabilities can address that challenge.
This is where the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN) comes in. A program of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the CBLN works to connect a pipeline of qualified talent for in-demand occupations to a marketplace where employees, customers, and disability-owned businesses play a vital role in business success.
On Tuesday, November 17 the CBLN has partnered with ADA 25 Chicago to host its first annual “Opportunity Summit” conference focused on strategies, best practices, and business issues related to the employment of people with disabilities.
Featuring disability and inclusion experts, this conference is perfect for employers and professionals in human resources, talent acquisition, and diversity and inclusion fields, giving them the opportunity to learn best practices, network with other professionals, and access resources that will help them harness the power of people with disabilities in their workplace.
For more information or to register for the conference, click here.
Theresa E. Mintle
President & CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce