Early in April Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 92, “Employment First for North Carolinians with Disabilities,” to increase opportunities for fair wages, employment, and careers for individuals with disabilities.
Through the order, the governor directs state government to become a leader in recruiting and creating an inclusive job climate for workers with disabilities.
More than 1.3 million North Carolinians, nearly 13% of the state’s population, have a disability; of those residents, more than 720,000 are of working age, but only 35% are employed, compared to 76% North Carolinians without disabilities.
Increasing employment for people with disabilities increases independence and results in cost savings for behavioral health services, intellectual and developmental disability services, and acute health care. It is also good for businesses and other employers, resulting in lower employee turnover, increased productivity, and access to a broader pool of skilled workers.
The Executive Order directs the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources to collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services to enhance recruitment and outreach efforts to potential workers with disabilities and to identify and attract qualified individuals with disabilities for state employment.