Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Great Lakes Conference entitled "Recruiting Individuals with Disabilities." At this time all participants will be in a listen only mode, later we will be conducting a question and answer session. At that time, if you would like to ask a question you may do so by pressing one on your touch-tone telephone. As a reminder this call is being recorded today, January 16th. I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Peter Berg, Project Coordinator of Technical Assistance for Great Lakes ADA Center. Please go ahead, sir.
Alright, thank you very much. Welcome everyone to the 2006, 2007 ADA Conference series which is a collaborative effort of the DBTAC Regional ADA Centers, DBTAC is Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers. You can always reach your Regional ADA Center by calling 800-949-4232. Today''s session as with all sessions is being recorded and the audio transcript as well as the text transcript will be made available on the ADA audio home page in about 10 to 14 business days following today''s session. The ADA audio home page is located at www.ada-audio.org, and that is where you can locate past transcripts from previous sessions as well as information about upcoming audio conference sessions. Today is the first in a two-part series where we are going to begin to look at resources and pools of employee talent for employers, today''s session, entitled "Where Can I Recruit Individuals with Disabilities," and we are pleased to have with us today from the Employer Assistance Recruitment Network, EARN, and we have Tyler Matney, and in a few moments he will explain exactly who and what EARN is, which is part of what is known as CESSI, Cherry Engineering Support Services, and he will explain to us about EARN and about CESSI. Tyler has over 10 years experience in marketing advertisement and research for both commercial and governmental clients, as well as he has previously worked for Monster Worldwide. Without further ado, I will introduce and bring in Tyler to go ahead with his presentation and following his presentation we will take questions from the audience. Tyler, welcome and go ahead and takeover from here.
Thank you, Peter and thanks to everyone for showing up, I appreciate it. For those of you who have the presentation, we will be going through that PowerPoint. I will tell you which numbers we are on as we go through it. First, I wanted to talk to about what EARN is. The Employer Assistance Recruitment Network is an initiative of the Office of Disability Employment Policy. I work for CESSI which is Cherry Engineering support services which is the contract, actually executing the contract for ODEP. So to kind of give you a little back ground on that. CESSI also works with a lot of federal and disability programs. We have worked with the DBTACs in the past and that sort of thing. So we have a specialized knowledge skill set in that area, and that is our primary business line. So for those of you who have the presentation the main thing that EARN does is connect employers and service providers. We were set up on the Presidents Committee on Disability back in the Clinton administration. Basically employers kept coming to the federal agencies and said we just want to find employees, we want to find candidates to interview and that sort of thing, so what they did was create this network where they built up an entire network of service providers and reached out to employers and basically just connected the two. Think of us as a job board in a sense and we are moving more toward that direction. At this point, we simply send job descriptions to employment service providers. They look for candidates that fit the requirements, send them to us and we match them and make sure they meet the minimum requirements and send them to employers. We are going to be opening that up in the next year to where job seekers can apply directly to employers and service providers have the resources and tools they can offer their job seekers to augment their searches. So some of the other things that EARN does is we also do a lot of pilot programs and we usually pick one type of major marketing effort to go after each year. Some of what I am going to go over is what we did in focus groups and forums at the end of 2004, 2005, and we did a little bit in 2006. If we go to slide one, I want to tell you about when we did a focus group forums we asked what the number one issue was for employers and they listed finding and hiring qualified personnel. Finding personal with the right work ethic and managing the cost benefits. These are what they said were the primary issue. Even when it came to disability employment, it did not seem to matter as much as long as the candidate could fit into their company and it was not a huge burden or cost for them. Go to the next slide, what I also wanted to show you is here is another issue employers are facing. It is the work force gap that is impending. A lot of us hear about it, there will be some type of gap. According to the Department of Labor it looks like there be two plus two million job opportunities out there that people will not be able to fill because there will not be enough people to fill the position. If you go to slide number four, another piece of this shifting labor force is the aging work force and the impact they will have, some of them will retire and some will go back into work, so trying to figure out how they will fit into labor force will be very interesting in the future and also, as they age, disability tends to become more prevalent in that population. That will also have an impact on employers and businesses. Also, we are having a more diverse work force. It is growing leaps and bounds as far as diversity in the country, and it''s more important for employers not to lose candidates because they are not reaching out to them. They have to make sure of their marketing efforts are reaching various audiences, not only for selling their products and services, but for employing people in their organization. Slide number five, this is again the National Organization of Disability. A lot of people have seen this one too, it says almost one in five Americans have at least one disability. Employers looking into increasing diversity of their work force, reaching out to disabilities is the smart way to pull in some candidates out there, to get people interested in your company and purchase products and services. They are very cyclical in nature. Make sure you are reaching both sides. The next thing, if you go to the next slide, slide number 6, from the focus groups that we did, we developed a business case. The business case was developed with employers and some employers have worked with people with disabilities, some hadn''t. And what we wanted to do is find language that resonated with employers to kind of explain to them why it is a good reason or a good option to go out and reach out to the disability community for employment. The first three things that you see are positively impacts your bottom line. The second, it gives you a competitive edge. And the third it is easier than you do think. If you go to slide number seven we''ve got positively impacts your bottom line. There are stats out there that increase employers retention. This one, sometimes has a mixed emotions on the service providers side but the main thing is that it does show all the studies from DuPont to Pizza Hut to anyone who, any company that has really done studies on it have shown it has increased employer retention, which really resonates with employers. And it is something that employers want to hear. If it works out for them then, all the better. Meet or exceed performance standards. Research always shows that people with disabilities perform average or above average than their counterparts so it''s an important piece that employers want to hear. Hire employees with the skills you need. There are individuals of disabilities that have unique skill set that employers can use and utilize and demonstrating that is extremely important for employers because there are so many different ways to do things that a lot of employers who haven''t worked with people with disabilities dont realized that these employees have the skills they need because they look at it and they are thinking I don''t see how I could ever do it and I dont see how they could ever do it, but if the employee actually gets into the organization and shows them how they can operate effectively, then that is something employers want to see. If you go to page eight, it gives you a competitive edge. Attracting qualified employees in a shrinking work force. That again goes back to the Department of Labor stats that I showed earlier, that it really is the shrinking work force is having a big impact and that you kind of need to extend your pool or your scope into the labor pool and pull out as many diverse candidates as you can. Reduce cost of employee benefits. A lot of times people with disabilities bring their own benefits. There''s been some studies, there''s no conclusive, it''s more of an anecdotal kind of information actually, not really a study that''s been coming out of various insurance organizations that show that it doesn''t really seem to have a major impact on mid to larger businesses. Of course with smaller businesses it may have an impact but if an employee is coming in with supplemental insurance it tends not to be an issue. There is also gain insight to multibillion dollar market segment. There has been studies and I think this one actually came out to ODEP where it shows that they have 200 some million discretionary income. That is something that employers want to tap into. It''s a market, it''s a very strong size market to go after for your products and services. So if you employ people, you basically kind of want to mirror your organization to the target audience that you want to purchase your products and services. Pulling in people with disabilities will also tap into other consumers with disabilities and their family and friends. Acquire creative problem-solving skills. Again this one is actually coming back to where people with disabilities tend to have to find their own ways or developed different ways to do some task that a person with a disability might not have to do in that way. I remember talking to actually a federal appointee at the Department of Education and she had mentioned that one is really a key one because when she comes into a door, she is in a wheelchair, and when she comes in through a door into a room, she actually have to figure out, the first thing that she is going to do is try to figure out how to navigate through the room, whereas other people are already starting to introduce themselves and that sort of thing. Having a different mind-set is a different way to look at problems. That is a unique opportunity for employers to try to improve their services, their products, their operation, just having different ways of looking at things. If you go to slide number nine, is easier than you might think, level the playing field with technology, again that comes to accommodations. If you pull in technology it tends to not only help the person with a disability to do their job but also it can help other employees to do their jobs more effectively. Such as IM was a big thing, instant messaging where a lot of people with hearing deficits would use IM and they would basically expand that out into other people within their organization and they found out that was more an effective means of communication for a lot of employers and a lot of things within an organization. Making accommodations easy and cost effective, the status that it costs typically less than $600 for an accommodation. Some accommodations don''t cost anything and some of them are fairly simple to do. The next one is taking advantage of the available resources and experts. There is a ton of resources available for employers. VR agencies, One-stop organizations like EARN, JAN the Job Accommodation Network, there''s all sorts of places that employers can go to it find information they need in order to be successful. I wanted to go on then to number 10, if you look at slide 10. What I wanted to do is talk about some of the things that we do with employers, we tend to do pilot programs each year with employers. Basically anything to help their organization either internally prepare for hiring people with disabilities or to increase their disability awareness within their organization all the way to hiring and in recruiting individuals with disabilities. We work with CVS pharmacy and within an association with ODEP and we actually pull together a program with CVS government program. CVS is government program, it''s interesting, they lay out what their main initiative is, and is to develop a highly skilled employee to excel at customer service. Their big thing is that customer service is key and so they will develop skills for people and help them to develop their own skills as long as they have someone in customer service basics that they need. They also through their government programs, they work on applying multiple strategies for hiring, training and retaining outstanding employees through reflecting communities and stores. So they do have various programs, they have lots of pilot programs not only with EARN and ODEP, but they''ve worked with several organizations, Easter Seals, JVCs tons of different organizations out there. They were very successful with Welfare to Work and they want to be as successful with Welfare to Work in the disability arena as they were in the Welfare to Work. If you go to slide number 11, you see they work closely with federal, state, and local agencies, community partners to establish recruitment, pre-screening, placement and retention services. They also offer employment and skills training opportunity for various jobs seekers and again that is kind of reiterating what I said earlier. Getting into the thick of it, now if you look at slide number 12, what we actually did was we started off fairly small but we wanted to split it up into a youth and adult focus. So in Atlanta we focused on adults and that was basically an internship program to bring adults in for six weeks. To come in and to perform the duties of the positions and then at the end of that they will offer them the position or the job seeker would go to another program or however the job seeker wanted to do it. We did in Atlanta, we identified one candidate, but out of that we got one hired which is not bad at all. I think that thats actually pretty good. If you find, you know you could have gotten 100 candidates and you got one hired, but if you got one candidate and you got one permanent hire out of that I think that''s a pretty good ratio. In Baltimore, they had 2 candidates identified, the internship is actually over at this point. But to my knowledge there were no hires for that. And then in Florida, there were three candidates identified, the internship is complete and there was one permanent hire from that. Fairfax there were four candidates identified and they are actually out of the candidates assessment phase. But the program didn''t do as well there either. There are various reasons. I think this was just basically they were working with One-Stop and the One-Stop didn''t know exactly what they needed and said there was a breakdown of communication. For the future, they are hoping to revamp that program. If you go to page 13, we also work with them in Boston, Massachusetts, they identified two candidates through that process and they made one hire. In Minneapolis, Minnesota was actually deferred until late fall but when we started that program, they ended up stopping it, so we are going to actually move it to 2007. In 2007, they''re hoping to expand programs within these areas and also within another 10 or 15, so within through out the United States. They''re hoping not only to just identify like 2 to 3 candidates, but they are looking for 10 to 20 to 30 as many possible candidates as they possibly can. And thats what we would normally do is that we would, we are going to basically develop marketing communications with CVS, and plan to do it with strategies and then go after employers within our network, Im sorry not employers, employment service providers within our network to start drumming up more candidates for us to send to CVS. So I just wanted to go through that a little bit. I will talk a little bit more about some of the other things we have done, we have done some things with Embassy Suites. Embassy Suites kept saying that service providers would send these candidates but they didn''t have any of the skill sets they were looking for and they were pretty active with working with service providers in their area. But they just couldnt get the right candidates, they werent getting the quality that they needed. So what they did was, what we did was we work with them to host like a forum to where service providers through out the community came into Embassy Suites and Embassy Suites hiring managers were there and talked about what they are looking for and what they need and the service providers would get feedback and they would talk about ideas about how the best way that we can communicate with you. And again Embassy Suites like CVS was same customer service was the most important thing to them. They will train the necessary hard skills after people get through the door. But their big thing was like somebody comes in, very personable, they have the communication skills that would be great and help the industry, send them our way and we will work with them and see if it could be a good fit. That''s another organization we work with. Moving on, if you look at slide 14, this is a road map of how employers should start getting involved and is starting to look at what your organization is now, where you want it to go and what you are capable of doing. Even if it is small. Like, for instance CVS wanted to do something smaller because they had certain strategic people within the organization that were involved, they didnt launch that to the entire organization yet. But now that they''ve had success they''re starting to expand it. So if you look at how to get started on slide 14 it''s an internal assessment, are the coworkers'' understanding, do they know about disability or working with people with disabilities, do you have people in your organization that have disabilities that you can tap into and ask them how are things going and what recommendations do you have and those sorts of things. It is a good way to start finding areas for you to improve your operations. Then testing the waters, doing a pilot program like CVS or Embassy Suites. Then you start building on successes after that. If you look at slide 15, your external assessment making sure your management has commitment, pretty important to have some type of management commitment, because if there is not, there is all sorts of competing factors that come into play if your management isn''t saying you know you have to increase your diversity outreach for your recruitment. If they are not saying that, then other concepts come in and takeover. You want to look at supervisor acceptance, making sure supervisors understand how to work with people with disabilities and what they need to improve their own management style. And again, coworker understanding making sure everyone knows what to do and how to behave. If you look on the next slide, 16, testing the waters, there are some other opportunities to do that, participate in Disability Mentoring Day in October, work with internship programs, just hire one position, one supervisor at one location. Number 17, start building on successes. Again, once you have started something, start to add positions, add supervisors to be involved. Have locations to expand to. If you go to page 18 just a little bit about what EARN does. It provides job matching services like I was saying at the beginning. We offer a consultant services so if employers or service providers call us with questions about say if a service provider says I''m not sure how to reach out to employers in this industry, do you have any kind of information you can give me or anything that can help me to reach them. Or employers calling and saying, you know I have a candidate with a disability I''m not sure what I can and cannot do legally and how I can pull them in and interview them and do I have to ask certain questions or what can I ask them, those sorts of things we tend to help people with and it''s very confidential. Anyone can call us and feel comfortable in asking us questions. If we go to slide 19. This is some of the successes I have had. We''ve worked with Embassy Suites, CVS, Miami VA Health Care System. We helped Miami with a career fair and they were having difficulty finding employers and candidates so we advertised to our employers about the career fair to our network of service providers, some kind of blast to pull candidates in and so we helped boost their numbers at their career fair. If you go to slide 20, the call to action for employers, first thing interested providers is sign up with EARN we are free, it''s a great way to reach multiple employers or if you are an employer to reach over 7,000 employment service providers throughout the country so it''s a one-stop place to try to get candidates for your position or for your opening. Then call EARN with your questions about disability. You can share what you learned today with senior management. It''s important to keep reaching out to your senior management to get the commitment, show them the business case, show them why it''s important in order to get things moving. And then also increasing awareness, benefit and resources to hiring managers and HR and it''s making sure that hiring managers who are the people that actually make the decision are aware of what they need to do and what they shouldn''t do and all of that. And also to increase career opportunities for people with disabilities within your organization. So if you have people with disabilities in your organization look for opportunities for them too, they can move up the organization, make sure that you''re not eliminating their mobility within the organization. If you look at slide number 21, this is actually, just wanted to make sure that you mark your calendar, we actually will be doing another training session on February 20 from 2:00 to 3:00. Guest speakers will be bringing some people from the Coalition to Salute Americas Heroes which is a private organization that is basically working with soldiers who are coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan and getting them employment and also just selling the business case why it''s important to hire people with disabilities. We will also be having Robert Roundtree from Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service and that is for people who are using the VR services or VA services. People who are using VA services and his organization assisting them in finding employment, so it should be an interesting conversation between all of them. Basically what they are going to do is try to tell employers how to, how the best way to reach veterans and also how to prepare the organization. There will also be sharing some ideas on some of the programs they have helped employers and they can assist employment service providers. If you go to the next slide, I want to end it and let you guys know our contact information. You can visit us at earnworks.com or you can also call us at 1-866-327-6669 or fax us at 703-448-7545 or you can e-mail us at email@example.com. So Peter, I''ll turn it back over to you.
Alright, at this point we will bring the Operator back on to give instructions once again on how individuals can ask questions.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin the question and answer session. If you do have a question at this time, we ask that you please press the one on your touch-tone phone. If your question has already been answered and you wish to withdraw your request, you may do so by pressing the pound key. Once again to register for a question, please press the one on your touch-tone phone at this time.
Tyler, while we are waiting for the questions to get lined up there, go to a question that was submitted by e-mail to us, during your presentation you had talked about technology. This question wants to know about technology issues in the application portion of the employment process and what types of things employers are doing or service providers are doing. Many employers have moved to online submission of applications and resumes and computer-based tests. What type of information do you have about that?
I think that''s actually a very interesting one and I''m actually glad that one has been brought up. That''s probably one of the biggest barriers that I see because I know how many candidates are flushing through on-line applications tracking systems and then moving in through assessment systems and that sort of things. In general, most of the assessment companies or at least applicant tracking systems have made sure they are accessible via the computer, and that they are basically 508 compliant at minimum. But there are still issues. For example, USA Jobs, when you are typing information into a field, there is no signal that you hit the end of the field, so you can be typing away and not realize that you''re not actually getting information in. There is room for improvement on the technical side and there is also room for improvement on the actual build assessment, not even the hard skills but mainly soft skills and the cycle metric test. Those things are all being looked at. I think what is interesting about it is that I don''t know anyone or any federal agencies that is actually pushing that against employers at this time but I think that unfortunately what will happen is probably a lawsuit of some sort that will trigger it but I do think that the target base might actually start to get a lot of companies to start looking at their websites and specifically not only their on-line portal for purchasing products and services but looking at the on-line applicant tracking system. So at this time, I think all of them at this time all of them has done the minimum but none of them have really been tapped into going further.
Is EARN developing resources for employers that want to ensure that their technology is accessible?
Yeah, usually what we do is we will make recommendations to them of companies within their areas that provide that type of research or we depending on whether or not, cause we have a limited budget, but if we can do it we will have people on our staff go through and identify areas to where there is issues. But we have done that for like CVS, we did that. And since we were working in their pilot program. In general we don''t have the resources to do it for everyone but we can refer them to a company and or other organizations that can provide extra support for them.
Excellent. Why dont we go ahead and have our first question.
We will take our first question from the Captioner.
Can you talk a little bit about the role of service providers in the CVS pilot program?
Yes, basically what we did was we worked with a couple of different organizations Montgomery Wards in Maryland some other local organizations within each pilot area. Basically what we did was we expose to the service providers or the CVS pilot program were identified by ODEP, they were grantees from ODEP in 2005. They were grantees. Now ODEP doesn''t do grants anymore most of those programs were shut down. We do have service providers throughout the area that we worked with. Basically what they did in this program was CVS came to us with the positions, they said these were the types of positions we want to recruit for, and ODEP looked through their resources and found service providers that through the grantees. And then we found a couple of service providers and got them all together and started talking about how the best way to do this and the service providers actually identified the candidates based on what CVS was looking for and then they brought them to the recruiters. And CVS they started to look at the candidates and made sure that they fit the position. Once they fit the position, then the recruiter at CVS worked with the hiring manager and the general manager at each local area and connected those with the service providers, so that there was a local connection to make sure if the hiring managers or the general manager had any issues or immediate concerns that there was a local resource for them to tap into. So basically service providers perform the crucial function of actually recruiting the candidates. I hope that answered the question.
If we go ahead to our next question.
It comes from the Ohio.
Go ahead with your question. Go ahead if you on speaker phone if you could move closer to that so we could hear the question.
Tyler had mentioned that the ODEP program was now out of money or was not providing grants?
They are not providing grants.
Ok, has anyone done anything about investigating local grants from local governments? For example, here in Ohio each county has a Veteran Service Commission that draws off property tax revenue and I am just curious that revenue could be available I would think for that kind of a training program or the pilot or starter program like you had with CVS?
Yes, and actually it is interesting, we are going through, we are re-evaluating the program, we are just looking at the 2006 result and starting to ramp up the 2007. We do need to find more providers, they found a couple that I''m not for sure who they have identified and in which locations. We also EARN will be used more this time to actually tap into, we can tap into all the veterans organizations, and all the One-Stops and all of those things. We have the information and contacts and all those locations, so we can pull those together to assist CVS in 2007. But any information or if you know of anyone who might be interested in participating and that would be great. You can send that to me or send me a URL or whatever it is to help me find it I appreciate it. Actually I will just give you my e-mail address, it is firstname.lastname@example.org. So if anybody out there has any recommendations I would appreciate to get them.
Alright, go ahead and take our next question.
Our next question.
Hi, our question concerns employer is that we currently work with that are connected with the typical disability service provider such as vocational rehabilitation and also through the One-Stops. And one of the concerns that they have relate to us is the fact that when they need employees and they are actively seeking employees with disabilities they may have hundreds of positions open in which they are seeking to fill, however they are only getting one and two candidates, if we were to connect them with EARN Works, could you potentially help them have a larger pool to pull from?
Yes. Thats the one thing that actually about EARN is that we do and again we work with over 7,000 employment service providers. So an employer who is looking for a specific position or even ten positions or a specific location, we act as a job board that goes out and hands the notification to service providers to pull candidates and send them our way and then we send them over to the employer. So us having that national presence could do that as well.
We have another question that was submitted to us via e-mail and this one has to do with getting back to a specific skill sets that employers are looking for. Are employers able to and have they contacted EARN to use you to facilitate to go back to service providers and perhaps even state VRs and say that these are the type of skills that are needed in this particular industry?
Yes. Actually what we do is our main client is employers. Based on what employers are posting with us we get some insight into the type of positions they''re looking for and what is important to them and skill sets are of course part of that. We have also received for specific pilots like for the CVS, they said we definitely need X, Y and Z. And then we go to a service provider and present that. We don''t have a formal mechanism of giving the information in a format to service providers but any service providers who contact us about a specific location or that sort of thing or industry we can provide more insight into.
Alright. Why dont we go to our next question please.
Our next question.
Go ahead with your question please.
In looking at the slide number eight, it was said that you can reduce the cost of employee benefits because the employees bring their own benefits. How is it that they bring their own benefits? What vehicle allows them to do that?
Well, it depends, for example, VA benefits, or you have other benefits, Ticket-To-Work types of programs, you have different programs out there where they are bringing in extra benefits. There is also as far as we have a lot of stats, actually you can go on our website where we actually have it in our business case that has a little bit more information on what we used to support that claim to reduce the cost of employee benefits. The only ones I''m familiar with, although we have other folks here who are much more savvy in the provider area, cause Im mostly on the employer''s side, but we do hear that a lot of employers have said that they are going to need these benefits or we have a standard benefits, our benefits didnt go up they brought their supplemental benefits in with them.
All right. Our next question, please.
As a reminder ladies and gentlemen to register for a question please press the one on your touch-tone phone. Well take another question from the Captioner.
Do you have any initiatives to work with other organizations, such as the National Disability Business Council, to develop a referral list of companies are reaching out to hire veterans or people with disabilities.
We currently what we really work with is ODEP. ODEP has the Work Force Excellence Initiative where they are going out to, the Deputy Secretary of ODEP, he has been going around and speaking on behalf of ODEP and making a case for hiring people with disabilities. In conjunction with that is also the National Freedom Initiative that a new Freedom Initiative program under the Department of Labor which identifies the employers who are very successful in their employment efforts and they receive a reward and basically from that we start to develop a Circle of Champions, that ODEP is incubating and there are actually employers that are getting ready to gear up this year to go out to other employers and really push the case and to get more people, more employers into the whole process. We''re also working with SHRM, the Society of Human Resources Management, ODEP has an alliance still under development where they will be able to promote to employers as well. What ODEP is trying to do is to pull together all of the employers who are interested, the ones who are more successful and the ones who are least successful, and really start to pull those folks together and have a solid group that we can start to work with directly. Because right now, its pretty interesting, almost every federal agency has a group of employers that they work with, but a lot of times they are not necessarily connected even though they sometimes overlap. I think what ODEP is really trying to do is collapse all of those into one centralized group so that it will be easier not only for service providers to know the top companies or us to work with the top companies but for the companies themselves to work with the government and to work with VR and other service providers.
Alright, may we have our next question, please.
Our next question.
We are a small center for independent living and our grant requires that we employ at least 51% of our employees with disabilities. So we actually already employ several individuals like that. The problem is whenever we do have openings, even though it doesn''t happen very often, we have a lot of problems trying to find disabled individuals with the background that we need, we mostly require a bachelor''s degree and at least 1 year experience in the field. Does EARN provide any type of assistance with that and if so, how do we go about doing that?
Yes, we do actually. The thing that you can do is you can post your positions with us. Once you sign up with us, its pretty simple, you can do it online or you can e-mail us and we can set you up and then you can just post the positions that you are looking for. What we do is we recruit. We can send the e-mail out or the distribution out to service providers within a specific area or across the country to recruit candidates. There are a lot of candidates out there actually who would move. There are a lot who are looking to move into different areas that would if we just expand the search outside of just the local area we can also pull in extra candidates that way. Yes, we do, thats our primary goal is to hire or to find candidates for employers for positions.
Alright, we have another question submitted by e-mail and this question has to do with some practical, wanted to know some practical information for employers in terms of their general advertising of an opening with their company and how to make that attractive to someone with a disability. Perhaps someone looking for employment too may not be tapping into the service agency or your typical disability VR services who may just be out searching for a job on their own. How can employers and their advertising, make it known that they are "disability friendlier" and looking for applicants for disabilities to apply?
I think a big part of that is more than anything these days is like when you put an advertisement, whether it''s a job posting or its in the newspaper, most people tend to go to your corporate website. And the corporate website is probably the best for that end because under your careers section, if you start to put some information about, what is like to work there, what type of options and benefits you have, add in a diversity section or interweave diversity throughout it, throughout the entire career section. If you''re not going to interweave it, than at least have a section there that says diversity that talks about the organization. Make sure that you make the disability stand out and kind of show them what you do and if you have someone who is working in the company has a disability that wants to put a testimonial up, those things work really well. Anytime you have a testimonial, any kind of employee who is actually working in your organization who can promote that on your website tends to create a personal connection with people and that tends to go further. The only other option I can''t think is advertising in specific areas or for publications. Again, using EARN has kind of like advertising in a specific location because we do have job seekers that show up to search our jobs. A lot of them will come here to run self-directed searches and they will come here to find a position and apply through us but there is other organization, Diversity Inc., has been doing a lot. There are cost, you have to pay for their services, but they have been doing a lot in the disabilities communities. There are also several organizations out there and there are probably some local ones where you can really start to advertise the message. Google probably the best way is just to type in disabilities job org or something like that in your local area and try to find something that way. But you can also contact us to find out specific locations in the career field and we can make some recommendations too.
Alright, excellent. May we have our next question, please.
We have another captioner questioner.
Alright, go ahead with the question please.
Have you ever done an evaluation of service providers to see what they thought of EARN''s services?
Yes, we actually do customer service satisfaction we actually always perform above. It''s interesting because even though we always performed at a service level there is certain providers, there is certain areas where we don''t have a strong of an employer pool and we run into this issue with employers. The service providers are still happy with the service but of course we''re not bringing in as many candidates or as many job opportunities to them. Since we have a limited budget we tend to market from national level. But we''re always looking for opportunities to market at a local level or state levels. In certain states we have done that again by our focus groups and also our forum that we did through out the country, and so we are always looking for opportunities to do that. There are other things too that service providers, the ones who work really well with us, they tend to make sure that there are people within their organization are signed up. They also tell employers they are working with to post their job with EARN or to join EARN. Cause that way they receive all of our postings all at once from various employers and they can go through the roster of clients and start to find ones that might fit those positions. So for them it''s kind of an easier way to work as well. So we find that we are more successful with those service providers to work with us and also promote us at the same time.
Excellent, may have our next question, please.
At this time, there are no further questions.
Alright, lets look at another question submitted by someone participating through the audio streaming, and this question asked about what types of job positions employers are bringing to you and advertising through you. Are they entry level positions only, or do they cut across the various levels of these employers?
Yes, actually that''s a good question. We actually have a large number of entry level, but I would still say in general we are across the board. We have everything from people looking for scientists to workers, it cuts across the whole gambit. Basically its really the diversity of our job postings are because our employers are fairly diverse. We have small, medium and large businesses. Some of them are looking in landscaping, others are high-tech companies that are looking for computer engineers and that sort of thing. So, we do have a decent amount of entry level but we do actually have a lot of higher levels as well. Generally we work with employers and we kind of try to set their expectations and say we will try to fill all your positions but it will be more difficult for us to sometimes fill some of those higher roles. But they usually understand it because some of those positions are hard for them to recruit anyways from any one or any resource. Those are the ones that they know they are going spend more time and money on to find a candidate for that position.
Do we have any questions in the queue at this time?
Yes, we have one question.
Go ahead with your question.
Yes, I would like to piggyback on the question that was previously submitted in regards to the diversity and the types of job that you get. I would like to know do you know the average salaries of some of the positions that you are placing people, your people in?
We actually tend not to get salary information from our employers. They tend to not to give us that information. Ideally, we love them to put it in there and there are some employers who will put it in. And in our postings, the one the distributions that we send out to service providers, if an employer has opted to put their salary requirements or the range in, they will have it in the position so that will pop up. You find that there is a little of reluctance on employers to give that and generally a lot of times they have a higher budget then they want to give out or a higher expectation but they are going to usually if anyone of us kind of come off the street and we try to apply for a position they are going to, theyll be good to us but want to make sure that they kind of get us as cheap as they can.
Thank you. Can we have our next question, please?
We have another question from the Captioner.
Go ahead with the question please.
Is EARN targeting specific industries? And how does EARN work with other CESSI projects?
Ok, yes, actually EARN is, only one that we are really starting to target this year is the federal government. And it''s mainly because we are again an initiative of ODEP and as you might have heard there are some pretty dismal rates that they are hiring and employment people with disabilities in the federal government. So, we are working and helping some organizations to expand their populations of people with disabilities within their organization. We also in the past we worked with DHS, the Department of Homeland Security. We have done pretty well with them but that''s really the only industry that we really focus on. We want to kind of keep ourselves open to as many industries as possible and try to be a one-stop shop to where employers of any type can come and post positions. And then service providers with any types of candidates with skills can come and search for various types of positions through our system. And yeah, also with the other CESSI programs that we work with, we have actually worked to kind of, if we find some overlaps we will tend to support another program but we usually have to bring that up to the federal agency that we worked with. For example, CESSI also for the Social Security Administrations Ticket To Work program, and we are looking at ways that we can cross promote one another and I think there is a pretty decent marriage there because if you kind of think of it, the Ticket system as kind of like a provider that it has candidates to provide to us, then we are looking for ways to get those candidates to come through us or for those people who are recruiting from employers under the Ticket program are sending information, are sending leads to us as well. So we are looking for ways but we always have to run those up the flagpole. That is one we are currently looking at how we can maybe work more effectively together.
Excellent, do we have another question, please?
At this time there are no questions in the queue.
Go to another question that one of the participants through audio streaming is asking about EARN''s involvement with the BLN, Business Leadership Network.
We actually a separate organization. I think the BLN is a great organization. I think what kind of separates us is that we, BLN is run by employers and their marketing the case, marketing the whole benefits of it. But I think that we actually can help to supplement that for employers. I think the BLN does some great things. They have some amazing programs out there especially some of the more localized and regional programs that they do. But I think if you look at us, I think what is interesting how about EARN is that we can kind of fit into any program. We are there to make the announcement of positions that are available and to create a one-stop location for employers to work with or to find candidates. I am hoping that we can continue to work with BLN in the future and we will have a more tight relationship. At this time we''re not really connected.
All right. Got another question while we give folks a chance to ask questions on the phone lines to get in the queue. And a question, some practical tips for employers in terms of just preparing their front line staff or the folks that are going to be conducting interviews on what they can do when interviewing individuals with disabilities?
Yes, I think in general, there is some awareness techniques. We actually have some resources that you can contact us. We have some presentations that we can send to you. We also often we do it with employers to where we are doing something with Wal-Mart right now where Wal-Mart is looking to educate their hiring managers and general managers and we are working with them to create a presentation that will take their employers through some training techniques and go through an actual Q and A and testing and that sort of thing. So we are working with them on that. We do have some other resources like I said to support that. But other than that too, I think a great resource because I have used this in the past with one of our employers when you need something extremely hands on, and especially if its something that is delicate in some ways than the Job Accommodation Network is a phenomenal resource. I have worked with them to set up appointments with employers. And employers have actually been able to sit on the call, and asked all the questions that they want, and JAN will tell them yes or no or maybe and give them recommendations on what they need to do in this area and where they can improve things. So we are always looking for opportunities to support employers on that, and so I think EARN and JAN are two great resources to get information. If you should contact either one of us we can find some information to fit your needs.
As you talked about during your presentation about creating an environment or culture that is welcoming. It obviously doesn''t do employers very, it isnt very good if they go out and recruit applicants or employees, individuals with disabilities but bring them into an environment that is not welcoming or supportive of employees with disabilities.
Yes, and thats actually I am kind of glad that you mentioned that again because its extremely interesting that a lot of our programs, VA, VR, everybody tend to work with HR side or we work higher. We either work with the corporate level folks or we work with the HR folks in general, but the hiring managers are the one who are the most important to reach. What we are finding is that partnerships with the HR folks, getting them on the band wagon and kind of showing them like going to the HR person and saying hey we can come in and do this free little session and give you an overview of to your hiring managers this is what you need to know and these are the first steps. A lot of times they take us up on that or they will take up another service provider and we can again provide resources for service providers to take those types of sessions.
How is it EARN works with employers that one may be a big diversity push, or employers that help them understand that diversity is not just race, gender, ethnicity, but that also disability is part of diversity?
Yes. ODEP is looking to do that more and it''s getting to be a trend because now SHRM is picking it up and Diversity Inc. Right now is a great time that it is being pulled into the mainstream but no longer us just pushing it, saying hey we are a federal contractor pushing the message. There is more validity to it in a lot of businesses mind, because now SHRM is saying, magazines that out sourcing are saying it, they are starting to see it in so many different areas that it''s a really good time for us to all get out there and start promoting it. Anything that we can do to support one another I think is great, so I think right now is ripe for moving forward.
Excellent. Do we have any questions at this time?
We have a question.
Go ahead with your question.
Can you hear me?
I''m wondering if you have an agreement with a recruiter or say Ticket To Work with MRS, can you still work with EARN?
Yes, we are separate. So you can still work with us. Again, we kind of augment it, we can augment the search and we can augment the reach but you kind of look at us as a marketing an advertising vehicle if you will. An advertising vehicle in the sense that employers can advertise and then service providers can kind of shop those advertisements and try to find candidates to push toward employers. So we can support which ever program, we dont have any conflicts with federal programs or local aid programs.
Great. Thank you.
You are welcome.
We have another question.
Go ahead with your question.
You referenced JAN a couple of times and might be good to give up their number and can you talk a little about ODEP and what they do?
The Office of Disability Employment Policy is under the Department of Labor. Their focus is on identifying effective business practices within not only the private sector but also the public sector, and basically developing research, not developing but identifying areas of research and actually conducting the research to find this type of practices that work effectively and then to publish and to promote those. We are kind of like an experimental wing of that to where we actually have, and I am sure some of you actually deal with research, but research tends to get old over time where you start a research study and a year or two later published the results. A lot of employers are wanting information quicker, faster, who like SHRM always does these little polls, it''s like basic types of telephone interview surveys that sort of thing. And its like where EARN is kind of an area to where we can test concepts quicker and we can test it faster and we can kind of promote different concepts a little quicker than say it like ODEP can because it has to go through barriers, has to be blessed. And then JAN the Job Accommodation Network, let me give you their number.
It''s 800-526-7234. That''s for the Job Accommodation Network telephone number which Tyler has referenced a few times.
And JAN also is a sister initiative of ours. We basically work to, basically our resource for employers to find candidates and JAN is really a resource for them. Once candidates are really starting to come in and they are kind of like a second set as far as now it''s getting deeper. A lot of employers tend to come to us looking for, a couple of them will ask questions about I don''t know what to ask on this interview, often we will refer them to JAN if it was a more complex issue, if its something simple for us to answer then we will go ahead and answer it for them. Yeah, that is kind of how we are distinguished. JAN is also an initiative of ODEP, and so we are all three here basically to promote policy and to identify policy and effective practices to promote out there.
Thanks for the question. Tyler, have you and EARN been able to use employers that have successfully recruited individuals with disabilities to go back to their fellow employers to many times employers may be a little weary or not listen as well when its coming from a federally funded project or from a service provider, but when it''s coming from one of their co-employers they may be a little more readily acceptable to a project such as EARN?
Yes, and we actually have had employers who offered and who have done it in the past to where we said like if we have a request from an employer to contact that they want to talk to another employer about it, we''ve been able to do that and also again to the Circle of Champion Programs from ODEP they are a huge resource there. And they are still pulling that together like I said and they I think are meeting in April again and they are going to look for some solid specific things that the employers want to do to go and promote the whole concept and they will be definitely speaking. They will be available for speaking engagements and that sort of thing.
All right. Do we have any questions in the queue at this time?
We have another question from the Captioner.
Go ahead with the question.
Does EARN have employees with disabilities or veterans who work with employers to market their services? And Slide 2 talks about finding personnel with the right work ethic? Please expand on what the right work ethic is.
Ok, yeah, so I think the first part of the question is do we have employees with disabilities that work on various initiatives? Is that correct?
Captioner, can you go ahead and re-read the first question please.
The first question was does EARN have employees with disabilities or veterans who work with employers to market their services?
Ok, great. Yeah, we actually do have employees with disabilities that actually work with our employers that market our services. Our call center has people who disabilities that we have a general with disabilities who run our Veterans Initiative Programs. We work with those employers on various levels. Some of the employers we work with are very new to the whole concept and some are just on board and they want to do more and more and more, but we do have employees who work on our contract however we do not have employees that we send out to organizations to work. The other thing too, as far as going back to that slide. When employers say that they want personnel with the right work ethic, there is some, I dont know that if you might have read about SHRM has been looking at this for awhile about how it monitors how the changing work force, the ethic of the new job force or the young folks that are coming into the organization. And there seems to be this shift, a lot of the younger job seekers are coming with a very high expectation of what they want and a lot of time the employers might not be able to fit that and they are also a little concerned about people taking off time or people leaving work or people nowadays playing online, playing games or are doing internet searches for new jobs and that sort of things. So they are really looking for employees to come in to want to work there, want to get the job done that''s really what it comes down to. It''s not so much a specific thing, it''s just basically someone coming into an organization who is not just going to sit there and not do anything.
Alright. Thank you for your question. We have another question through the participant of audio streaming, and asked about some practical issues with the recruitment and the employers who are looking for applicants with disabilities. Are there some universal issues in general for employers who are trying to recruit qualified applicants that apply not only to some of the issues with recruiting individuals with disabilities?
Yes. Actually I think that the one thing I think that has been kind of interesting is most of the things when you look at selling the business case for hiring people with disabilities, that sort of things. All of those things pretty much are universal obviously. For some reason the disability committee has been segmented out of the whole diversity equation for a while. But I think, people are starting to realize that like when it comes to accommodations, it sounds like a foreign concept to employers, something different that they don''t normally do, but really if you think accommodation has basically like kind of they come in and they don''t have a disability but they are I need to work from home one day a week or I want to work from home in general so those are considered kind of accommodations. Those are universal types of practices that I think service providers should really promote when going to employers and making sure that employers know this isn''t really something new, it''s something completely strange, let me say, not new. It''s a little foreign but once you start to add it into your whole process it becomes part of the whole thing.
Excellent. Do we have another question waiting in the queue at this time?
As of this time there is no one in the queue.
Alright. Tyler if you could give us some information, practical information for that employer that recognizes they are about to have a significant loss with the retirement of individuals in the baby boom generation and know that they need to bring in a supply of employees, you have addressed this in your presentation but just give us a recap of the steps that employers can take when they are made first start recruiting, want to recruit individuals with disabilities for their open positions?
Ok, yeah, I think the big thing too, the first thing is make sure though out your organization that people understand. Again, higher commitment is always great especially if it comes down to where you actually have a goal to where the higher ups says you have to hire 20% diverse candidates or something like that. So having those sorts of things are important. Also, continuing to educate HR but also talking to HR and leveraging HR to move into the hiring managers and making sure that your hiring managers are trained. I know a lot of people who go through yearly type or maybe even more often kinds of sensitivity awareness training for everything from race and ethnicity to gender and make sure that disability is included. I''d think too it''s like start with a smaller program. If you have one location, one hiring manager and one HR manager who are willing to work on it and go through it, once you get somebody through the door then employers will start to find out what the issues are and find out what the concerns are and realize that a lot of them are a lot of myth and a lot of them are kind of that they are afraid about. There is certain fears that once you get someone in the door, you realize it''s not necessarily so. So, I think pulling someone in is an extremely important thing and then again expanding that. And also making sure that you are including in your advertising budget, room to go out and advertise specific publications that are focused on people with disabilities or that they have a large readership. Again, using EARN is a great way to do it, we can maintain, we have some employers who like to do that or you can be completely open and say that we want to, we are Microsoft and we want to hire people with disabilities, but you can do it at your own pace. And I think thats the most important thing too. Don''t overwhelm yourself, try not to do too many, take it step by step, cause otherwise its going to, there is just a lot to move within many organizations. So if you start of smaller you''ll find that you don''t have as many problems down the road. And that''s pretty much summing it up.
Alright, excellent. Well, Tyler we appreciate your time that you have spent with us this month on the ADA Conference and the resources that you brought for us the information. Again, if individuals want to contact you they can do so by, you want to give your e-mail?
My e-mail again is email@example.com. You can also reach me here at 1-866-327-6669.
Excellent. And just as a reminder, today''s session was recorded and the audio archives as well as the text transcript will be made available on the ADA Audio homepage www.ada-audio.org in 10 to 14 business days. Also as a reminder, our next session as Tyler had mentioned during his presentation, will take place on February 20th. The February session will be Tapping A New Resource: Veterans with Disabilities. As we know, we have an increasing number of veterans with disabilities and this is the second part in the two-part series of resources for employers who are looking for individuals with disabilities. We will have four individuals joining us in February, including Tyler and some of his other cohorts from EARN. You can get information about this Audio Conference session and register for the February session on the ADA Audio home page. You can always contact your Regional ADA center with questions about the Audio Conference or questions about the ADA by calling 1-800-949-4232. As always we appreciate your support and participation in the ADA Conference series and we look forward to you joining us in February. Thank you.