Fort Worth Star-Telegram: In a week when the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington helped refocus the nation’s attention on jobs and equality, the Labor Department issued new rules aimed at benefiting two groups the job market often overlooks.
U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said that most government contractors, which employ about 20 percent of the U.S. workforce, will be required to set “goals” to hire disabled workers and veterans equal to 7 percent to 8 percent of their employees.
This coincides with a 2010 executive order by President Barack Obama that called for the nation’s largest employer - the federal government — to be a model for employment of people with disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring and retention. His goal is the government hiring 100,000 disabled people over a five-year period.
Assisting disabled people and veterans to become gainfully employed shouldn’t be only a government matter, but a communitywide endeavor that involves training, additional support like transportation, and most of all, educating employers and the general society to invest in people who given the opportunity can be productive workers.