Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Holly Schepisi that would increase awareness of employment opportunities for people with disabilities was advanced by the Senate Labor Committee.
Sens. Tom Kean and Holly Schepisi’s legislation that would increase awareness of employment opportunities for people with disabilities was advanced by the Senate Labor Committee. (SenateNJ.com)
“Individuals with disabilities are an underrepresented segment in public employment,” said Kean (R-21). “This legislation will help ensure that our government will be more thoughtful, inclusive, and supportive of the needs of these individuals in the workforce. This is crucial to allowing the state to more easily recruit and promote talented people with disabilities and will give better overall representation to them in state government.”
The bill, S-3426, requires the Division of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action and the Civil Service Commission, to develop a “State as a Model Employer of People with Disabilities” or SAME program. The purpose of SAME will be to increase awareness of employment opportunities for people with disabilities and remove barriers to the application and hiring process.
“This bill is an important step in the right direction and will help improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens,” added Schepisi (R-39). “By allowing the state to more effectively recruit, hire, and promote people with disabilities in the workplace, we will help create a more inclusive policy for these individuals and provide better job opportunities for them in the future.”
The SAME program will review existing recruitment, hiring, and retention policies; use fast track hiring authority that permits state agencies to consider disability status during the onboarding process; and establish work-based learning experiences, such as mentoring or internships.
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