US Assistant Secretary of Labor Highlights Conversation with Area Businesses about New Federal Hiring Standards

2603799(Great Lakes Bay Region) – Kathleen Martinez, United States Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Policy, joined over sixty representatives of area businesses and agencies to discuss disability employment and the newly implemented Section 503 federal disability hiring standards.

“I want to thank you for being here, and for inviting me to speak on this issue,” Martinez said. “It demonstrates that all of you are committed to learning more about these game changing updates—and ways to make them work for everyone, including you as employers.”

Also speaking at the breakfast were Suzanne Howell, Director of Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and Jenny Piatt, also with MRS. Howell and Piatt discussed the current disability employment climate and trends at the state level.

“We greatly appreciated being a part of this very important event,” Howell said. “We were honored to share the podium with Assistant Secretary of Labor Martinez and we look forward to continuing working with DNMM on issues relating to the employment of persons with disabilities.”

The event was sponsored by The Great Lakes Business Leadership Network (BLN) and by Disability Network of Mid-Michigan (BLN Lead Partner) and The Dow Chemical Company (BLN Lead Member).

David Emmel, Executive Director of Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, said these new rules and regulations will help provide new employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities.

“So much of our effort is often around the individual,” said Emmel. “This is a great opportunity to focus on the demand side — on employers, what employers’ needs are, understanding their diversity and inclusion strategies, and how we can help grow that pipeline of employees.”