Cincinnati USA Regional ChamberGrowing the vibrancy and
economic prosperity of our region

In This Issue:

April 19, 2016

Strengthen your business through disability inclusion

ODEPThe Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber announced its selection for participation in a pilot program designed to increase the workplace inclusion of people with disabilities. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), "Getting Down to Business: A Pilot to Strengthen Small Business Through Disability Inclusion" will provide customized assistance to help increase Chamber member capacity to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities.

“As the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber sharpens its focus on diversity and inclusion, we are proud and excited to be one of three organizations, and the only Chamber, selected for this pilot program,” said Jill Meyer, president & CEO of the Chamber. “We intend to lead the charge in creating best practices for other regions to join and continue this important work.”

“A very high proportion of people with disabilities are not employed. That does not mean they are unemployable,” said Mary Stagaman, senior inclusion advisor for the Chamber. “We want to hear from businesses who want to expand their knowledge and capibility to hire and develop this often untapped source of talent in our region.”

In addition to assistance from ODEP, the Chamber will collaborate with the Ohio Business Leadership Network, Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD) and Project SEARCH, a high school to work transition program,.

“LADD is thrilled to be affiliated with the visionary work of our Chamber and to be part of connecting small businesses with the significant benefits associated with hiring people with disabilities,” added Susan Brownknight, LADD’s executive director.

Proposed activities for the pilot program include:

  • Creation of an advisory committee on disability issues
  • Development of a job shadowing program linking young people with disabilities to Chamber member businesses.
  • A series of Educational events for employers and human resources professionals. 

Pilot activities will culminate in additional outreach efforts during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. If interested in participating or learning more, please contact Mary Stagaman at 513-579-3129 or

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