MADISON – Wisconsin ranks in the top 10 states in the percentage of people with disabilities who are employed in the state, according to the 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, which was released this month.
More than 144,800 civilians – representing 41 percent of people with disabilities age 18 to 64 in Wisconsin – were employed in 2015, according to the study published by the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. Wisconsin moved up 6 spots to 10th from 16th in the previous compendium. Wisconsin outpaced the national rate of 34.9 percent and was ahead of numerous Midwest states including Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
“As Wisconsin’s economy grows and adds jobs, businesses are continuously seeking qualified talent to fill openings, meaning no skilled talent can be left on the sidelines,” Governor Walker said. “Through programs like Project SEARCH and core services offered through the Department of Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, we are helping thousands of workers with disabilities every year achieve their employment goals and move toward greater independence, and providing businesses with a pool of dedicated, motivated and skilled talent.”
Wisconsin’s DVR helped approximately 9,500 workers with disabilities reach their employment goals during the first two federal fiscal years (FFY 2015-16) following the launch of Governor Walker’s A Better Bottom Line initiative to encourage more employers to hire job seekers with disabilities.
A Better Bottom Line, tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, promotes employment opportunities for people with disabilities through recognition, education and investments in programs like DVR.