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Event Information

National Diversity Forum — August 4, 2011

Add Us In logo with slogan: Merging Diversity and Disability into Business Opportunity
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Small business is the engine of U.S. economic growth, and the data on minority business growth clearly shows that minority-owned and operated firms are a significant contributor to the long term health of the United States economy. Over the past 10 years, minority-owned businesses have grown at approximately double the rate of all firms in the U.S. economy. If one considers the growth of additional targeted businesses such as those owned and operated by women or individuals with disabilities, then the influence of these businesses is even greater.

In response to this, and in furtherance of the agency's goals for the Add Us In initiative, ODEP convened a National Diversity Forum on August 4, 2011. The National Diversity Forum discussed the national implications of Add Us In and supported the creation of the national network necessary for collaboration, and dissemination and implementation of successful policies and practices. The overarching topic of the sessions was the intersections of disability, diversity and business; and the identification of policies and strategies to increase and improve the labor force participation for people with disabilities in small businesses. Focus areas also included issues regarding cultural and linguistic competence within employment systems to address a variety of targeted business and populations.