Federal Contractors Showing Progress in Achieving U.S. Labor Department Hiring Goals

Jun 23, 2016

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Latest Disability Employment Tracker™ Finds 16-Percent of Respondents Have Achieved the Seven-Percent Hiring Goal for People with Disabilities, Up from 2015

NEW YORK (June 23, 2016) – Federal contractors are making steady but incremental progress in achieving new U.S. Labor Department goals for employment of people with disabilities, according to new survey data from the National Organization on Disability (NOD). The 2016 Disability Employment Tracker™ survey shows 16% of respondents have achieved the 7% utilization goal, up from just 9% in 2015. Further, the study reveals that in contrast to previous years, three quarters of 2016 respondents – 78% of which are federal contractors – currently track the number of employees with disabilities that have been hired in the past year.

“While we would love to see a higher number of companies hitting these goals, we all knew back when the Labor Department announced its disability employment targets that this would be a process that would require not just a commitment of resources from these federal contractors, but also some time,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “These Tracker findings show meaningful progress. But now is the time to accelerate our efforts. That’s why NOD is working with employers to analyze and benchmark their Tracker data and help them put a more effective plan into action.”

NOD recently announced the creation of the Disability Inclusion Accelerator™, an interactive briefing giving executives a data-rich view of where their company stands in relation to others – and a customized action plan to advance their disability inclusion efforts, based on Tracker findings. Glazer noted that the Tracker and Accelerator combined can help federal contractors achieve the goals established by the Labor Department.

“I was particularly pleased to see that 20-percent of the companies who took the Tracker are not federal contractors, meaning our new regulations are offering guidance to the non-contractor business community,” said Patricia Shiu, Director of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor. “The National Organization on Disability continues to provide valuable data that delivers real insights into how the Section 503 rule change is impacting disability hiring. I thank them for their leadership.”

The Disability Employment Tracker™ represents a diverse cross-section of employers, including representation from finance, manufacturing, healthcare services/pharmaceutical, commercial/professional services, technology and equipment, food/agriculture, and many others. About the respondents:

  • 41% are Fortune 500 companies
  • 78% are Federal contractors
  • Workforce size:
    • 28% > 50,000
    • 34% between 10,000 & 50,000
    • 13% between 1,000 & 10,000
    • 25% < 1,000

More About the Disability Employment Tracker™

The Disability Employment Tracker™ is a free tool for employers to confidentially assess their disability and veteran inclusion practices. Survey respondents receive a free and customized Disability Employment Tracker™ Scorecard that provides key benchmarks and leading practices in disability employment.

The Disability Employment Tracker™ was developed by the National Organization on Disability, in partnership with the National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center and Sirota Consulting, a leading provider of organizational assessments.

The partnering organizations conducted interviews and focus groups with dozens of Fortune 500 companies to develop a tool that is responsive to their needs, concise, and easy to use. The free and confidential Tracker was introduced in 2013, with lead support from the Exelon Foundation and guidance from leading research firm J.D. Power, a business of S&P Global.

For companies interested in participating in the Tracker, simply visit www.NOD.org/Tracker.

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