BizFed Institute, as part of a special LA Consortium, recently convened more than a dozen representatives of Los Angeles County’s business community to discuss issues related to increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The LA Countywide Consortium of nonprofits and organizations was awarded a 2-year grant by the Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy as part of its “Add Us In” Initiative. The LA Consoritum includes: BizFed Institute, Integrated Recovery Network, Homeboy Industries, LA Gay & Lesbian Center, South Bay Workforce Investment Board, USC, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Why This is Important:
In the United States today, there are approximately 4.1 million minority-owned firms accounting for more than $668 billion total annual gross receipts.
Between 1997 and 2002 the growth of minority-owned firms outpaced the national rate – increasing by 30 percent compared to 10 percent for all classifiable firms.
As of April 2011, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 21 — compared with 70 for persons with no disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The April 2011 unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 14.5 percent, compared with 8.4 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Over 21.9 million people of all ethnicities with disabilities ages 16 and over were not even in the labor force.
Findings from the special focus group are directly helping inform the Consortium’s work developing recommendations for boosting employment for workers with disabilities and providing employers with well-qualified employees.