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AIM president appears at Show-Me Careers Transition Institute

Matching jobs with people who can, and want to, do them…it’s the goal of the Show-Me Careers program.

Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty attended the Show-Me Careers Transition Institute in Jefferson City Monday, taking part in a group discussion on increasing opportunities for young people with disabilities.

“We discussed what employers are looking for,” said McCarty. “They are looking for workers with work ethic, people who will show up and value their jobs enough to continue to show up after we’ve trained them.”

McCarty says AIM member industries observe that disabled workers generally value their jobs more than other workers because disabled workers have worked harder to overcome obstacles in their lives.

But how do employers interested in hiring disabled workers find them and how do disabled workers get the training they need to find their way into the workplace? Solving that dilemma is one of the goals of the Show-Me Careers program. AIM is one of the program’s sponsors.

“We’ve been at this for a couple of years, and we just now are beginning to work through getting some of the service providers (for disabled workers) to host meetings where our members can come in and meet the people that are providing the services and see what those service providers can bring to the table, and what the employers can provide in terms of employment,” said McCarty.

McCarty recommended the service providers attending the Show-Me Careers event try an employment agency model where groups of prospective workers are trained and then matched to an employer. The employer then gets to see a number of workers on the job before deciding which to hire full time.

“We’re also thinking about matching up the service providers for the disabled workers with employment agencies,” said McCarty. “That would work in areas with a strong employment agency presence. In areas without strong employment agencies, it could be a two party system between the service providers and the employers.”

McCarty says this model represents the first time the disability service provider community has invited the employer community as a whole into the employment discussion.

“In the past, the service providers have sought to get their clients employed without asking the employer community what it was looking for,” said McCarty. “This is approaching things at a different angle. We’re trying to establish a process.”

The first place that process has been set in motion in a pilot program is at the Center for Human Resources in Sedalia. The program seeks to match AIM members in the area with clients of the center. The center includes some clients who will need to work in the traditional workshop setting, while others are ready to move beyond a workshop setting and into integrated employment.

“We have strong members in the Sedalia area and Sedalia is home for the Center for Human Services, a very active and successful provider of services for people with disabilities,” said McCarty.

McCarty is excited about the program’s future.

“What we’re trying to do is solve a problem for employers that are having difficulty finding employees with work ethic by matching them up with a population that may have a higher work ethic and need a little more help on the training side,” said McCarty. “We think this can be a win-win for both groups.”

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