Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and Sen. Harkin to co-host forum on “Empowering Individuals with Disabilities through Employment” Print
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Heidi Smith   
Monday, 30 September 2013 15:39

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, in conjunction with Sen. Tom Harkin, today announced that they will co-host a forum on “Empowering Individuals with Disabilities through Employment” on October 17, 2013.

 

“This forum will provide a great opportunity to bring together business leaders, individuals with disabilities and various stakeholders to share best practices and highlight individuals with disabilities who have excelled in the workforce or successfully started their own business,” said Gov. Branstad.

 

“This event will explore avenues to enable all Iowans an opportunity to contribute in the workplace and to help create jobs and grow family incomes throughout our state,” said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. “We look forward to learning from business leaders who have established best practices for training, hiring, and retaining individuals with disabilities as an important part of their strategy to improve their business’s bottom line.”

 

Branstad added: “Senator Harkin has been a long-time advocate for individuals with disabilities and we look forward to co-hosting this discussion on empowering individuals with disabilities through employment.”

 

“Individuals with disabilities throughout Iowa are an untapped resource,” said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.  “We should work together to ensure their abilities, skills, and knowledge are put to work for the betterment of all Iowans.  I commend the Governor and Lt. Governor for bringing this conversation to our state. ”

 

Further details on the event follow:

 

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013

 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, and Sen. Harkin host forum on “Empowering Individuals with Disabilities through Employment.”

FFA Enrichment Center

1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway

Ankeny, IA

 

*Note: There will be resource information on display an hour before (10 a.m. - 11 a.m.) and one hour after (1 p.m. - 2 p.m.) the official discussions.

 

RSVP: There is no cost to attend, but for planning purposes, interested individuals are asked to RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or via phone at 515.725.3533 by Monday, October 14, 2013.

 

Background: Join business leaders, individuals with disabilities and various stakeholders for two panels as we explore best practices for employing persons with disabilities and improving the bottom line of Iowa businesses.  The panel discussions will provide an opportunity to hear directly from employers, individuals with disabilities who have excelled in the workforce, and individuals with disabilities who have successfully started their own businesses.  Learn about best practices, resources, and strategies for recruitment, accommodations, retention and advancement, as well as the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities.  By empowering individuals with disabilities through employment we can all take steps to create jobs and grow family incomes.  David Mitchell, the Administrator of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation, will moderate two panel discussions with various stakeholders, including additional state leaders.  In addition, businesses and support organizations will share information on best practices and available resources.  Specific objectives of the forum will be to renew a discussion to:

  • Encourage and Inspire Individuals with Disabilities to Help Get More Iowans Working
  • Engage Business Community to Take Next Steps to Empower Individuals with Disabilities
  • Show How Businesses Can Strengthen Their Bottom Line by Hiring Individuals with Disabilities
  • Motivate Relevant Stakeholders to Redouble Efforts
  • Highlight Success Stories of Individuals in the Workplace
  • Highlight Individuals Who Have Started Their Own Business
  • Highlight Businesses Who Have Provided Leadership and Developed Best Practices
  • Clarify Existing Resources for Businesses to Leverage
  • Discuss Challenges and Solicit Recommendations to Overcome Challenges

 

Accommodations: If you are a person with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Heidi Smith, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 515-725-2816 by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 10, 2013.

 

 

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