2017 Disability Employment Awareness Month


WHEREAS, of the four million Virginia residents who are employed, 179,000 of them are individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, an estimated one in five Virginians will have a disability at some point in their lifetime; and

WHEREAS, Virginians with disabilities, including veterans, have the ability and desire to seek employment and to develop the skills they need to join Virginia’s new economy; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 46, signed on July 27, 2015, directs the Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade to work with the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and other executive branch agencies to expand efforts to attract Virginians with disabilities to the Virginia workplace; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, the Code of Virginia was amended to establish a goal for executive branch agencies to increase the level of employment of individuals with disabilities by five percent by fiscal year 2023; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, effective March 24, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs set a seven percent hiring benchmark for federal government contractors to include qualified individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities (CPID) is part of the Commonwealth’s efforts to help industries close the skills gaps and create a pipeline of young adults, including those with disabilities, interested in working in advanced manufacturing and technology fields; and

WHEREAS, employers can enhance their businesses and workplaces by creating career opportunities and hiring qualified individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Labor’s theme for this year’s national observance, “Inclusion Drives Innovation,” reflects the importance of hiring employees with diverse abilities; and

WHEREAS, all Virginians should be given the opportunity to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of the Commonwealth and to engage in remunerative employment within the new Virginia economy;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize October 2017 as DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.