Board Archive

Did you know that Arkansas has an employment problem?


Did you know that Arkansas has an employment problem?  Yes, Arkansas businesses have approximately 30,000 jobs that need to be filled.  Unfortunately, businesses are having great difficulty filling them because applicants don’t have the proper skills, are in the wrong location or cannot pass a pre-employment test. 

An often-overlooked prospective employee market, key to helping solve this challenge are disabled employees.  Unfortunately, the lack of information and knowledge of the facts, that hiring employees with disabilities can create a positive business case to your organization’s effectiveness are largely misunderstood.

Examples of national statistics, studies and real-life experiences by many employers (Microsoft, Walgreens, Home Depot, AMC Theaters…), demonstrate employing workers with disabilities is good for your business. 

Here’s why:

  • 48% lower turnover rates than non-disabled; medical costs 67% lower; and time off expenses 73% lower, which lead to much lower absenteeism rates.  This workforce can become your safest and most productive.  You just need to find the right job for them.
  • On average, costs of workplace accommodations are minimal (<$750) and are most likely borne by a government agency, not the employer;
  • Overall employee morale improves and customers have a positive view of your company because of a disabled-inclusive hiring policy.

It’s good business and you do good at the same time.   We all know someone that has been affected by a disability and any one of us could become disabled at any time yet still have much to offer.  Arkansas was recently ranked #1 in the nation by US News and World Report for employing people with disabilities.  This is in large measure because of the professionals at Arkansas Rehabilitation Services.  This state agency is providing a great return on your state and federal tax dollars and will engage with you and your business on how to fully integrate disabled employees into your organization.  Give them a call and give an employee with a disability a chance to boost your business and their life, for the better.

The Arkansas Department of Career Education (ARCareerEd) works around the state to provide services and programs to prepare individuals for education and training to enter the workforce or to advance in an existing career.  ARCareerEd’s goal is to ensure all students and clients have an opportunity to gain meaningful employment using our resources. ARCareerEd is focused on guaranteeing that industry-coordinated, demand-driven programs exist to better prepare our students and clients for long-term career success.

(Article written by Hugh McDonald, Career Education and Workforce Development Board Member)

(Photo: Hugh McDonald)

Share this Post: