Lakeside Packaging Plus announced the creation of their Community Services Program at a Business Forum and Breakfast at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh Alumni Center.
Professionals representing hospitality, food service, child care, retail, manufacturing, health care and financial services sectors came to hear new approaches to fulfilling the need to attract qualified workers. Human services agency representatives, educators and State Representative staff members also attended to hear best practices to share with their constituents.
Featured keynote speaker, Traci Jones, Corporate Director of Human Resources for Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, provided attendees with a valuable overview of the benefits in hiring associates with unique abilities. Making a case for answering the need for quality workers was supported further with the statistics she shared, including the remarkably low turnover rate (8 percent) for people with disabilities versus the general population (45 percent).
After the presentation, a moderated discussion among attendees provided valuable insights on how companies can make the case to hire associates with disabilities. With more than 75 percent of people with disabilities reporting being unemployed or underemployed when they would rather be working more, they represent an untapped market for employers.
Employers shared the need for getting over perceived hurdles, including concerns about accomodations, abilities, and perception that an entire job description needs to be completed by one person.
Lincoln Burr, Executive Director for Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action, said “If you are a manufacturer who assigns set up and tear down to every employee, can that task be completed by an associate with a disability? This possibility may open opportunities for others in the organization to create more product, improving profitability.”
Hiring associates with disabilities can prove to be better for the bottom line for a company in addition to bringing so many more cultural benefits for every employee.