A Business Services Approach to Increasing Opportunities through Affirmative Action
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper will describe the experience of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, in working with businesses responding to the new 503 regulations. Some federal contractors are actively seeking qualified applicants. Others need outreach and education to understand how the agency can assist them in meeting their new requirements. The paper will also describe how the agency has organized resources to provide business services that facilitate partnerships with businesses. By creating a new position that focuses on Workforce Development and organizes and supports five Business Development Managers outreach efforts, the agency is addressing specific employment needs of the business to ensure that a good match can be made between the business and the IWD.
The paper will provide three examples of businesses that have worked in partnership with the agency to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in response to the new affirmative action requirements. Through these examples, the paper will describe how various business services and supports strategies differ by business requirements but have the same goals of hiring qualified candidates to fulfill their business needs. Through these examples, the paper will provide perspectives both from involved businesses and from individuals with disabilities themselves.