TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News) – October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and to celebrate, Workforce Services hosted a job fair for individuals who have disabilities, a fair they’ve been hosting for the last 14 years.
According to Workforce Services, Utah’s economy is experiencing a tight labor market, employers are discovering unique and positive ways to fill their workforce need by hiring people who experience disabilities.
Thomas Smith, Business Relations Specialist for the Utah Office of Rehabilitation says he and his colleagues have resources for job seekers with disabilities all across the state.
“A lot of time when people think about disability they’ll go to those first impressions they’ve got of someone with a disability and that might be someone that is very significantly disabled,” Smith says.
Smith says that’s why it’s so important to have different levels of work.
“Disability is a continuum so you might have people that have doctorate degrees and masters degrees that also have a disability,” Smith says. “It’s not just entry-level work, it’s professional work,” he adds.
Tuesday’s fair had 40 Utah employers participants. Smith says they usually see around 300 attendees a fair, one in April and the second in October.
Margarita Angelo, Diversity Officer for Zions Bank attend the fair and an employer. She said has attended the fair as long as it’s been happening.
When I asked Angelo how she thought her attendance at the job fair made attendees feel she said she wants it to give them hope.
“I think it gives them hope, and that’s what we all need. We need a chance we need an opportunity to succeed and things like this make and feel like this [job fair], I’m part of this, I’m part of the community,” Angelo says.
Cindy Madsen was a fair attendee, says she’s been out of the workforce for a while and decided to come see what she could find.
“It’s nice because they will take into account what you can do and find something that will work for you,” Madsen says she appreciated all the employers gathering at one place helping her get what she needs to move forward.
The job fair also had different workshops to assist attendees in furthering job skills like interviewing, dressing for a job, resume and other interpersonal skills.
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