The South Carolina campaign empowers Lowcountry businesses to focus on the talents of individuals with disabilities
South Carolina’s unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is one of the highest in the country — leaving out a largely untapped, capable pool of talent for businesses across a diverse range of industries.
In response, a statewide coalition of government, nonprofit and other entities created Hire Me SC, an outreach campaign to increase the independence of individuals with disabilities and shift the current landscape in South Carolina to one of employment for every individual, disability or not, is the norm rather than the exception.
Currently in its second year, the campaign drives job seekers with disabilities, service providers, educators and employers to the Hire Me SC website, http://www.hiremesc.org, where they can find vital information, job training programs and other resources to help navigate the hiring process.
“There is a remarkable workforce in the Lowcountry ready to be hired,” says Kimberly Tissot, executive director of Able South Carolina. “In many cases, even the simplest accommodation on the side of the employer will open up a door they never knew existed.”
Hire Me SC advocates for a successful, inclusive employment model for everyone within a community, bridging the existing employment gap through the following means:
- Educate the general community on current barriers to employment.
- Connect individuals with disabilities, employers, service providers and educators with the resources and services most valuable to them.
- Provide a platform for the general public to advocate for policy change.
- Host numerous awareness events (workshops and summits) throughout the year.
“Our message is simple,” says Tissot. “Individuals with disabilities deserve a chance at jobs where they are paid minimum wage or higher, at a comparable rate to coworkers without disabilities. Tapping into this unexposed workforce as an employer can and will help your business and community thrive.”
Learn more about Hire Me SC by visiting http://www.hiremesc.org, calling 800-681-7715, or e-mailing [email protected]. Letters may be addressed to Hire Me SC at Able South Carolina, 720 Gracern Road, Suite 106, Columbia, S.C., 29210.
About Hire Me SC
People with disabilities can work, want to work, and should be afforded every opportunity to work. Powered by Able South Carolina and the South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition (SCDEC, a coalition formed to eliminate employment barriers for individuals with disabilities), Hire Me SC is a campaign that promotes a culture of inclusion across the state of South Carolina, one in which employment for every individual, disability or not, is the norm rather than the exception. Learn more at http://www.hiremesc.org.
About Able South Carolina
As a Center for Independent Living that is grounded in the disability rights movement and run and operated by a majority of individuals with disabilities, we are united in the belief that community-based, integrated employment for individuals with all types of disabilities should be the only option when it comes to employment. Individuals with disabilities CAN work and should have the freedom, support, and opportunity to achieve competitive, integrated employment.
We advocate for systems where funding for employment programs shifts away from sheltered workshops and other non-competitive employment and moves toward a system that promotes equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, regardless of the significance of the disability. Learn more at http://www.able-sc.org.