Five Good Reasons to Employ People with Disabilities

by Guest on March 4, 2019

in Diversity & Inclusion,Featured Member

MV Advancements

Guest Article By: Kathy Schlotfeldt, Executive Director
MV Advancements and Cascade Board Member

We are at a time in history where we no longer need to “create” jobs for individuals with a disability. There are business needs that already exist in our communities. And statistically, people with disabilities stay at their jobs longer and have better-than-average attendance.

  1. Did you know that all sheltered workshops in Oregon that employ people with disabilities will be closed by 2020?

    In response to a class action settlement in 2015 (Lane vs. Brown), sheltered workshops are closing around the state in order to be compliant with the terms of the lawsuit and in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 15-01, prioritizing community employment for people with disabilities. This means that individuals experiencing disabilities are now accepting jobs in our communities with many local businesses, positively impacting the business community as well as the employee.

  2. Did you know that the unemployment rate for individuals with developmental disabilities is over 70%?

    It’s a myth to think that individuals experiencing disabilities have their needs met by social services or welfare or even family members. The fact is, earning money builds independence, confidence, self-esteem, and provides opportunities for friendships so that they, too, can live a good life. What would your life be like if you never had a job? These individuals, like us, want the same things that you and I want: a home, friends, and – a job.

  3. Did you know that hiring someone with a developmental disability can increase your employee retention?

    Over the last 2 years at MV Advancements (MVA), the retention rate for supported individuals placed at jobs in the community was over 85%! A successful hire of a supported individual has a high rate of success because MVA takes care to get to know both the individual and the employer before recommending a match. MVA has over 50 individuals on its waiting list for employment in the communities within Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, but they need more employers willing to offer opportunities. Before placing an individual in a job, MVA conducts free assessments and explores job options to meet the demand and make quality employment matches. Their supported individuals are an asset to an employer and come with job coaches to support them on the job and teach them how to engage in the workplace. This alleviates training and onboarding costs that can be a barrier to employment. This is a win-win for both the employee and the employer!

  4. Do you know the benefits of being diverse in your employment practices?

    Companies that hire supported individuals constantly tell MVA that their culture shifts, biases fade, morale improves, and their company thrives. Why is this? MVA believes that hiring a supported employee adds an essential element to the workplace that brings compassion, honesty, and equity. These individuals are held to the same standards as other employees; they are expected to be on time, polite, and productive. But let the employers speak for themselves. This is what Melisa Parrish from HR at Ushio America, a manufacturing company in Newberg, says: “Hiring employees through MV Advancements has been a great success for Ushio America. MVA has a great support staff that helps us find the right employees for the jobs we have, and with their continued job coaching support it has helped these employees and Ushio thrive.”

  5. Did you know there are organization out there that help businesses hire individuals experiencing disabilities?

    MV Advancements is committed to helping the individuals they support to live a good life as active and contributing members of their community. MVA empowers and supports over 300 individuals in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties to live, work, and thrive. They have many opportunities for employers to help make this transformation of employment successful for individuals with disabilities seeking jobs in Oregon. MVA promises to make it easy for employers and their commitment is that it will be a real win for your business! Email their team for more information at For a list of other organizations in Oregon that help businesses hire individuals experiencing disabilities, contact Oregon Resource Association (ORA).

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