This op-ed by Joseph Jones, Executive Director of The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement, and Kyle Duarte, founding director of Everyone at Work ran in The Des Moines Register on August 7, 2019.
Over 50 percent of Americans with disabilities are unemployed or out of the workforce entirely. In the almost 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress, that needle has hardly moved. Iowa has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation with as many as 80,000 jobs currently vacant. That leaves us asking, why should any Iowan who wants to work be unemployed?
The mission of Everyone at Work, a national non-profit, is to engage America’s untapped workforce, including Deaf Americans, those with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups. The aim is to connect these workers with jobs that will last a lifetime and provide for their security and success, while at the same time enabling employers to fill vacancies in their workforce, helping companies and communities grow and flourish. This includes coaching employers in ways to make the workplace welcoming for a diverse range of employees and providing modern training to those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time.
It made sense that Everyone at Work and The Harkin Institute would come together to launch an inaugural career event for Deaf Iowans. This continues former Sen. Tom Harkin’s legacy of promoting opportunity for all Americans, especially Americans with disabilities. Continue reading here