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The Northwest Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities (NCEPD) is recognizing “National Disability Employment Awareness Month” holding a no-host luncheon, Oct. 17.

This year’s 2019 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “The Right Talent, Right Now!”

It has often been heard, “There are not enough qualified individuals to fill positions that remain open.”

Across the nation, as well as locally there are individuals who have left positions because of their disabilities and rely on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Many of these individuals have the skills or ability gain these skills in a reasonable time locally and nationally.

Employees may be hidden from view, but business leaders struggling to attract and retain talent in a tight labor market can find highly skilled, capable individuals among SSDI and SSI beneficiaries who are ready to go back to work and have the support of the “Ticket to Work” program.

The “Ticket to Work” program was created in 1999 to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries, ages 18 through 64, with job placement to become employed, increase their earnings, and become financially independent. Eligible Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries assign their Tickets to an SSA authorized support service, including non-profit agencies and private Employment Networks (EN) to obtain job placement services.

This program is completely free and voluntary!

With the upcoming luncheon we are going to recognize local employers and employees who have promoted employment and employees with disabilities.

Kelly Barns will provide information about employment opportunities with the county. Jesse Klair representing McDonalds will share information about the Disability hiring program there; Mari Dorenstreich, with Tri-County Independent Living will be recognized for her work; James Forbes, with Department of Rehabilitation; and, Linda Parker, HSU Disability Student Services for he dedicated work with NCEPD.

There is a lot to learn about employment opportunities for those with disabilities. Hope to see you at our upcoming no-host luncheon being held at 1301 D Street Neighborhood Facility in Arcata, Thursday, Oct. 17 starting at noon.

For more information you can contact Shannon Lookwood at 707-445-6629 or email: shannon.lockwood@dor.ca.gov.

Charlie Bean is president of the Northwest Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities.

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