TWC's Texas HireAbility Campaign Highlights Disability-Inclusive Hiring During Disability Awareness Month

Date: October 5, 2022

Media Contact: Angela Woellner
Phone: 512-463-8556

AUSTIN – Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is partnering with the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities for the 2022 Texas HireAbility campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. TWC and its partners will participate in a statewide series of disability awareness promotions and hiring events for employers and job seekers of all abilities.

This is the sixth year for the Texas HireAbility campaign, with an increased focus on disability employment awareness and hiring events held in conjunction with October's Disability Employment Awareness Month in Texas, as proclaimed by Governor Greg Abbott. Texas HireAbility events are also held throughout the year to promote disability employment.

"Texas is a great state because of its people. Focusing on abilities and not labels helps build a stronger Texas workforce,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. "The Texas HireAbility campaign provides an opportunity to highlight TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation employment and training resources to employers and job seekers across the state.”

One of a series of events throughout the state in October, the Texas HireAbility Employer Forum on October 6, 2022, in Houston educates employers on best accessibility and disability inclusion practices. The speakers include disability advocates, industry leaders, and Americans with Disabilities Act experts. The Forum features the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities' Lex Frieden Employment Awards to recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals advancing disability inclusion.

TWC Vocational Rehabilitation offers many services to people with disabilities to connect them to employment. Pre-Employment Transition Services prepares students ages 14 to 22 for employment, training, or postsecondary education. One of the programs is the Summer Earn and Learn program (SEAL). SEAL is a 5-week paid summer work experience with employer partners working with Workforce Solutions offices across Texas. Almost 11,000 students have participated in Summer Earn and Learn since it launched in 2017.

Watch this video to see how pre-employment services help Texans gain workplace skills and experience while getting paid for their work in an "earn-while-you-learn" structure. 

“Hiring a diverse workforce that includes individuals with disabilities is one of the best strategies for any business – employers benefit from increased retention rates, employee satisfaction, and varied business perspectives," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. "More than one in ten Texans has a disability, and TWC's services help ensure workforce accessibility and inclusion.”

As part of the Texas HireAbility Campaign, in 2021, TWC launched the We Hire Ability employer recognition program. The designation is for employers whose workforce comprises at least 10 percent of people with disabilities in an integrated workplace.

“It has been said that people with disabilities are the true problem solvers of our community, and Texas employers recognize the unmatched skills and loyalty they bring to their place of employment,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “TWC launched the We Hire Ability employer recognition program to highlight Texas businesses that go above and beyond to ensure inclusion and diversity is a priority in their workplace.”

Vocational Rehabilitation provides customized services for individuals with disabilities so they may obtain, maintain, or retain employment. If you are a Texan with a disability that has prevented you from finding or maintaining employment, reach out to a local office near you or self-refer at StartMyVR.

To find a Texas HireAbility hiring event or webinar near you, please visit the Texas HireAbility webpage.

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Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers, and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and its services in coordination with its local workforce development boards network, call 512-463-8942 or visit https://twc.texas.gov/. Subscribe to email updates to receive notifications about TWC programs and services. 

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