In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is sponsoring multiple hiring events throughout the state during the month of October. The 2017 Diversity Works Job Fair in the Capitol Region will be held from 9 a.m. to noon October 18 - Baton Rouge, 10000 Perkins Rowe.

Governor John Bel Edwards proclaimed October as Disability Awareness Month in Louisiana. The Governor's Office of Disability Affairs, in coordination with the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Families Helping Families, will host a series of roundtables in an Employment First Tour, including one in Baton Rouge on October 18.

“Disability Employment Awareness Month is a great way to emphasize the importance of the contributions of persons with disabilities in moving Louisiana forward,” said Edwards. “Our businesses and communities can greatly benefit from the integrated, competitive employment of persons with disabilities.”

Edwards said people of all abilities need access to good jobs. Including different perspectives in problem solving can be beneficial to employers by leading to better solutions. This year's theme is "Inclusion Drives Innovation." He said they're spreading the message that Louisiana values all people in the workforce.

Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs Bambi Polotzola said employing people with disabilities is an economic development issues.

“The lack of workforce participation by individuals with disabilities is an untapped labor market. We can and we will do better," Polotzola said. "We are working collaboratively across government agencies and with businesses throughout the state to improve employment opportunities and outcomes.”

The discussions will allow disabled Louisiana residents to connect with support coordinators, employment providers, businesses, economic development agencies, and other parties. Employment First is a movement aimed at finding competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

Other events will be held in Lafayette, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Covington, Monroe, Pineville, and Shreveport. For more information, visit gov.louisiana.gov/disabilityaffairs or https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/.

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