A 2020 Vision of Inclusion

Written by: Cindy Bahl, Director of Business Development & Amplify! Events

I know it’s only the first week of December, but the holiday season has already begun and winter is just around the corner. Both of these remind me of the new year, new goals, and, perhaps, a new view.  From where I sit, my view is outstanding; crisp blue skies, deep blue ocean, birds soaring, and the tree-tops waving in the wind.  Yes, I am working remotely, but I couldn’t ask for a better perspective to reflect on the outlook for greater inclusion in the workforce for people with disabilities.

We’ve come a long way in the past five years, especially at a local level with the Oregon Employment First initiative promoting integrated employment in a community-based workplace for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  Five years ago, many employers that I spoke with had no idea about Employment First. They were unaware that we have hundreds, maybe even thousands of people right here in the Portland metro area who have the skills and abilities to work.

At Dirkse CC, we have made it our mission to create awareness, to educate, and to inspire employers and our community to utilize this untapped workforce through our Amplify! events and initiatives.  I’m proud to say that in almost three years, we have held five events that have brought people together, expanding their vision and encouraging them to change their view of how people with I/DD can contribute to their workforce.  From large, international employers like Nike, to large, local employer Oregon Health and Science University and on down to small but mighty businesses like Pest Solutions, together, we are changing perspective, changing the outlook and the view for this under-utilized and historically marginalized group of people.

So, the question today is, “what is your view in 2020?”  What will you do to continue this momentum that has begun in the Portland metro area?  How do you envision disability inclusion in your workplace and what can YOU do to move the needle toward true, integrated inclusion?  Let’s keep this momentum going. If you need ideas or assistance for your next steps, let’s have a conversation about your vision. Let’s brainstorm ways to increase employment opportunities for this untapped workforce that is waiting for you to move forward in 2020.

Cheers to the new year and a new vision for inclusion!

If you would like to schedule a complimentary inclusion conversation, please contact Cindy Bahl, Director of Business Development & Amplify! PDX at 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

You’ll Never Know What You’re Missing

The Real Benefits of Hiring People with Developmental Disabilities

Guest Blog by Heather Weldon – Keynote Speaker at Amplify! Rock Stars 2019
Supported Employment Program Manager
City of Seattle, Human Resources Department

“Show me the money.”
“You complete me.”
“You had me at hello.”

What do these famous quotes from “Jerry McGuire”, the film starring Tom Cruise, have to do with lessons learned from the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in our workplaces?

“Show me the money.”

Like many workplaces, ours has a variety of entry-level duties that are sometimes part of the work for higher-level positions. Then, there’s other entry-level work that often “falls through the cracks” because it’s not a high priority, but still must be done! We identify where those basic tasks are and bundle them into jobs for people with developmental disabilities. This results in a more efficient division of labor.

“You complete me.”

Several months after hiring Katie (an employee with a developmental disability), her supervisor told me “before Katie, we were incomplete”. But she didn’t know that until after Katie was hired.  The supervisor went on to say, “it’s as if we are finally whole now. Katie makes our workplace complete.”

You never know what you’re missing when it’s not there.

So, whether you’re more of a “show me the money” kind of person or a “you complete me” type, you’ll benefit from inclusive hiring practices.

Oh yeah, what about “you had me at hello”?  You’ll have to come to the Amplify conference on May 23 to get the answer to that!

Register Today for Amplify! Rock Stars 2019

Secure your spot now and plan on another inspiring morning full of success stories and celebrations!

May 23, 2019 9:00am – 11:30am
Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington Square

Registration is open, but we’re still building out the day’s agenda. Please continue to check back for updates!

Partner with us! You too can become a sponsor and partner of Amplify! Help us promote diversity and inclusion in our workforce and community – ASK US HOW – contact Cindy Bahl @ 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

Job Opportunity Fair

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Washington Square-Portland-Tigard
9000 SW Washington Square Rd., Tigard, OR 97223
MAP TO EVENT

For Job Seekers

  • Select employers who are interested in disability, diversity and inclusion will be on-site.
  • Talk to employers who have part time openings and are ready to hire now!
  • Job Coaches, Personal Service Workers and Employment Specialists are welcome!
  • Bring your resume and come prepared to share your career goal.

Participating Employers

  • City of Beaverton
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Embassy Suites
  • …More to Come!

For Employers

The day includes a 2.5-hour event (details below) and the Amplified Job Opportunity Fair directly after the main event that will help connect you to differently abled Job Seekers with the goal of helping you meet your disability diversity recruitment and hiring goals.

$150 Registration Fee Includes:

  • 1 ticket to Amplify! Rock Stars event (9am – 11:30am)
  • 1 boxed lunch during 11:30am – 12:00pm lunch break
  • 1 table / 2 chairs for Job Fair (12:00pm – 2pm)
  • 1 social media acknowledgement
  • Your logo on the Amplify! website and at the event

If you are an Employer who would like to participate in the Job Fair, please contact Cindy Bahl at info@amplifysuccess.org or 503-258-7715.

Amplified Job Opportunity Fair

Have you ever attended a local job fair? Maybe as a job seeker, or perhaps representing your business or organization looking to hire? What was your experience like? Did you have a successful outcome or the results you were hoping for?

In my experience, sometimes job fairs can be a bit disappointing. In my role as Director of Business Development and Amplify! Events at Dirkse CC, I’ve attended many in the area, especially those who target current buzz words, like “diversity” and “disability.” I often make some great connections at these job fairs, but I leave wondering if the job seekers are getting jobs. As I speak with folks on both sides of the table, I end up feeling like many are leaving empty-handed. I hear employers who want everyone to check off everything on their wish list to find the ideal candidate who would meet all their needs. On the other hand, I hear job seekers with unique skill sets often wanting part-time work, who simply walk on by because they don’t possess an Oregon driver’s license, are unable to lift 50 pounds, or have communication challenges due to their disability.

If you’ve had a similar experience, I invite you to participate in our upcomingAmplified Job Opportunity Fairon Thursday, May 23rd, 12-2pm at Embassy Suites by Hilton, Portland-Washington Square. This job fair will be different! We will have employers who are not only interested in disability diversity but who are actually creating jobs and hiring people of all abilities. They are looking at the person and matching their skill sets to their business needs. Yes, a job description is still part of the equation, but it is a guide not a rule.

If you or your employer would like to be a part of this unique disability-diversity job fair, please contact me today for more information at 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

If you know a differently-abled job seeker, please encourage them to register at: https://goo.gl/jgV2Mr

Register Today for Amplify! Rock Stars 2019

Secure your spot now and plan on another inspiring morning full of success stories and celebrations!

May 23, 2019 9:00am – 11:30am
Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington Square

Registration is open, but we’re still building out the day’s agenda. Please continue to check back for updates!

Partner with us! You too can become a sponsor and partner of Amplify! Help us promote diversity and inclusion in our workforce and community – ASK US HOW – contact Cindy Bahl @ 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

Empower Your Workforce
Affirm Abilities
Amplify Success!