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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy - Driving Change Creating Opportunity

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Business Sense

The Value of Experience

In business, the investment that drives innovation isn't tangible-it's talent. The knowledge, skills and abilities employees bring to work each day are the assets that yield the most output over the long term. And the ability to attain and retain this human capital is critical to business survival, in good times or bad.

By incorporating people with disabilities into their human capital strategies, businesses can gain a competitive advantage. Inclusive recruitment, hiring and advancement practices expand a company's pool of potential talent. They also enhance corporate continuity efforts by helping businesses manage change and retain the talents of an aging workforce.

For these reasons, human capital is one of the key themes highlighted in the Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities, an online, multi-media resource that illustrates how people with disabilities add value to America's businesses across six key concerns common to all employers, regardless of size or industry. In addition to human capital, the Business Case addresses return on investment, marketing, innovation, diversity and social responsibility.

A & F Wood Products, Inc., a family-owned small business based in Howell, Michigan, has discovered first-hand the benefits of counting people with disabilities among its human capital. “The focus is the business. And however we can make the business run to create the jobs, and to grow the business, that's really the bottom line,” said co-owner Jason Korte. “All employees, they're the backbone of the company. And we're finding out in a hurry-and I think others will too, if they give it a try-that the disabled employees are a major part of your backbone.”

Workforce Recruitment ProgramBusinesses across the nation can augment their human capital today-and build a pipeline of talent for tomorrow-with the help of the Workforce Recruitment Program. This resource offers access to a database of nearly 2,000 pre-screened, qualified college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking summer or permanent employment. And best of all, it's free!

The Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities, which includes Frequently Asked Questions on disability employment, is one of many resources available from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to help America's businesses implement policies and programs that foster more inclusive workplaces.

For additional news and resources, sign up for ODEP's e-mail updates.