Jobs for the Future | Horizons Conference: “The Quest for Talent: Filling vacancies with innovative disability employment models”

Jun 13, 2018 2pm - 3pm
Horizons logo, with tag line reading "a vision for economic advancement"

The Quest for Talent: Filling vacancies with innovative disability employment models

Wednesday, June 14th 2:00 – 3:00 pm

New Orleans Marriott, Louisiana

Join NOD and The Hershey Company at the Jobs for the Future’s Horizons conference, which explores new imperatives and solutions related to the future of work and learning. Presenters will explore how to transform America’s education and talent development systems and programs in the face of accelerating change, with an emphasis on innovations in technology, investing, and corporate talent development. 


  • Howard Green, Deputy Director of Professional Services, National Organization on Disability
  • Alicia “AJ” Petross, Senior Director on Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, and Engagement, The Hershey Company

The quest for talent is a defining business challenge, with the wave of baby boomer retirement creating a shortage of workers. Yet, major segments of corporate America continue to overlook the 20 million working-age people with disabilities who are not employed. Because of these high unemployment rates, two-thirds of people with disabilities are living in poverty—a rate twice as high as for everyone else—and, they are far more likely to struggle financially. A rewarding job goes a long way to equalize these disparities.

People with disabilities spend their lives finding creative routes around obstacles and can offer a wealth of creative thinking. Employers who do hire employees with disabilities rank them among their most dedicated, with very low turnover. Thus, a critical connection is being missed at enormous cost to people’s lives and the corporate bottom line. More and more leading companies are deploying innovative strategies to tap into the disability talent pool and onboard the workers needed to support new business initiatives and drive growth. As a result, these companies are pioneering scalable disability employment models—and are opening pathways to meaningful careers for this underrepresented group.

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) will share leading practices to tap into the disability talent pool, complimented by data from its Disability Employment Tracker, a corporate survey benchmarking disability practices of nearly 300 employers. The Hershey Company will share how workers with disabilities have helped fill vacancies in their manufacturing facilities, using innovative apprenticeship programs to source talent with intellectual and development disabilities from local community providers and vocational rehabilitation agencies.

Learn more and register.

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