Support Employment First Legislation for Pennsylvania
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#IWantToWork is a social media self-advocacy campaign guided by one simple, but powerful belief: people with disabilities who can work, who want to work, deserve to work. Powered by young people with disabilities, #IWantToWork focuses on creating and advocating policies that support the employment of people with disabilities at competitive wages in integrated settings.
The #IWantToWork campaign supports PA Employment First legislation. Employment First legislation is about making sure people with skills, talent, dedication and desire who just happen to have a disability can get a meaningful job. It’s about helping employers find and retain talented, loyal employees. It’s about helping move people from dependency to independence. Most of all, it’s about removing more of the barriers blocking people with disabilities from having productive, fulfilling lives.
We have strong bipartisan support and the backing of a growing coalition of business, labor and other organizations advocating alongside people with disabilities. The passage of Employment First legislation would cement the impact of Governor Wolf’s Employment First Executive Order, which expires when he leaves office.
Enacting this PA Employment First legislation will put Pennsylvania with the 22 other states in helping people with disabilities and work consistent with new federal rules.
Sign your name to join #IWantToWork’s in support of PA Employment First legislation.
I am writing to you in support of Employment First legislation. The bipartisan legislation follows Gov. Tom Wolf's Executive Order implementing a number of Employment First policies.
The order defined Employment First to be that “competitive integrated employment is the first consideration and preferred outcome of publicly-funded education, training, employment and related services, and long-term supports and services for working-age Pennsylvanians with a disability.”
“We greatly appreciate Gov. Wolf’s order, but believe that legislation, adding reporting requirements, creating accountability among state agencies and putting Employment First priorities into law is an even stronger approach,” Dr. Josie Badger #IWantToWork Campaign Manager.
Pennsylvania employers have 200,000 openings and not enough people to fill those jobs. People with disabilities are qualified, capable candidates willing to fulfill this need within the workforce. Employees with disabilities have proven to be exemplary hard workers who are loyal to their employer and maintain a lower absentee rate than their peers.
Permanent employment first legislation will ensure people with disabilities find meaningful competitive integrated employment. Expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities will create taxpayers and lessen the impact on support services. Employment First legislation will enable people with disabilities to lead fuller lives.
I would also like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter and for hearing me out.
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