CEOs hold first ever disability employment summit

Government officials and leaders from more than a dozen major companies held a summit to focus on ways to increase disability hiring in early June and have now launched a public-private partnership to continue their disability employment efforts.

The word jobs under a magnifying class
Jobs Summit

The summit was held at Walgreen’s distribution center in Windsor, Connecticut, where about 50 percent of the workforce consists of people with disabilities. The retailer has received significant publicity since 2007, when it announced an initiative to expand its hiring of people with disabilities.

“One thing we’ve learned from the Walgreens experience is that if companies set big goals and put themselves out there, and work with the right partners to help them build a talent pipeline of eager, productive, and loyal workers with disabilities, the results of such efforts are stronger and more productive companies and a loyal productive workforce,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and a lead Senate sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in a Walgreens news release.

The companies who participated in the summit are Amerigroup, Ascend Performance Materials, Best Buy, Clarks Companies, Ernst & Young LLP, GE Lighting, IBM, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Lundbeck, McLane Company, Merck, OfficeMax, SAP AG, Procter & Gamble, UPS, Walgreens, and Walmart.

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