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Kathy Martinez, ODEP Assistant Secretary, and Jill Houghton, Executive Director, US Business Leadership Network, sign the Alliance agreement on September 30, 2014

Kathy Martinez, ODEP Assistant Secretary, and Jill Houghton, Executive Director, US Business Leadership Network, sign the Alliance agreement on September 30, 2014

ODEP Alliance Logo USBLN Logo




US Business Leadership Network

The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to promote the employment of people with disabilities. ODEP and the USBLN hereby form an Alliance to provide USBLN members and others with information, guidance, and access to resources that will help them to recruit, hire, and advance workers with disabilities. In developing this Alliance, ODEP and the USBLN recognize that ODEP and USBLN members are an integral part of this national effort.

Training and Education

  • Disseminate training and education materials to USBLN members on issues of concern in order to advance the recruitment and employment of job candidates with disabilities.
  • Work with ODEP to disseminate and share effective disability employment practices and to provide expertise in communicating such information to employers and employees.
  • Work with ODEP to provide expertise on key industry issues as they pertain to the employment of people with disabilities.
US Business Leadership Network
  • The Business Leadership Network (BLN) was originally established in 1994 through the President's Committee on Employment with People with Disabilities (PCEPD — small federal agency whose chair and vice chairs were appointed by the President) with a national business advisory board chaired by Tom Donohue, the President of the US Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Network was created through various Governor's and Mayor's committees on disability and based on the premise that business responds to their peers, and underscoring that employers should be recognized as valued customers of the vocational rehabilitation system.
  • After ODEP was created business leaders within the BLN affiliates met the annual national conference and voted to establish a national organization known as the US Business Leadership Network®.
  • The creation of the national organization was intended to assist the development and growth of affiliates across the U.S.
  • In 2004, the USBLN® affiliates elected representatives from affiliates across the U.S. to serve as the first USBLN® Board of Directors.
  • In 2010, the USBLN® launched its Biz2Biz Report newsletter.

Outreach and Communication

  • Provide expertise in developing information on the advancement of employment of people with disabilities and in communicating such information (e.g. print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools and ODEP's and the USBLN's Web sites) to employers.
  • Speak, exhibit, or appear at ODEP or USBLN events.
  • Collaborate with other Alliance participants on employer issues that are identified through the Alliance Program.

Technical Assistance

  • Identify activities that demonstrate, evaluate or replicate model disability employment strategies.
  • Identify employer specific issues of concern to which the Alliance should direct particular attention and resources.
  • Promote ODEP-funded technical assistance services, such as the Job Accommodation Network and the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion.

National Dialogue

  • Raise others' awareness of and demonstrate their own commitment to the advancement of employment for people with disabilities whenever USBLN leaders address groups.
  • Develop and disseminate case studies illustrating the business value of employing people with disabilities and publicize their results.
  • As appropriate, convene or participate in forums, round table discussions, or stakeholder meetings on employer leadership issues to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace on recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting people with disabilities.

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