The Untapped Workforce

By Cindy Bahl

I recently had the opportunity to be a guest contributor to the Portland Business Journal (PBJ) and their series on the labor shortage entitled, “How Oregon Works”.  The September 7th issue focused on Construction and Field Work to offer new and innovative solutions to a statewide labor shortage.  In past issues, the PBJ covered industries such as healthcare and technology with future issues aimed at agriculture, manufacturing and education.  The series so far has addressed the lack of diversity in all segments of the workforce, but the articles have failed so far to discuss the opportunity to include people with disabilities, or what we call the “untapped workforce.”  My submission and inclusion to the series became an opportunity to share a few short success stories of how people with disabilities can contribute to the workforce in the construction-related field.

Every industry has the opportunity to be inclusive and incorporate people with disabilities into their workforce.  The opportunity is not industry specific. It is available to all employers, large or small, to completely diversify and reap the benefits of inclusion of all diversity categories, including disability.

One key to success involves a vision for an inclusive, receptive culture that values the unique skill sets of every individual.  This environment is not always present but is possible and developed through training and education from professionals like those at Dirkse Counseling & Consulting.

Join us for Amplify! Success on October 23rd at Nike WHQ in Beaverton for “Disability Workplace Inclusion: What is Your Vision?”  You will be inspired and motivated to formulate your own vision for inclusion in your life and in your industry, organization or business.

Amplify! Success is a program of Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.

For more information or to become a Sponsor of Amplify! Success 2018, contact Amplify! Event Coordinator, Cindy Bahl at: 503-258-7715 or

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