Nashville, TN, October 5 – “Tennessee passed the State as a Model Employer (SAME) Bill, ensuring that state agencies and departments design and proactively implement best, promising, and emerging policies, practices, and procedures related to the recruitment, hiring, advancement, and retention of qualified individuals with disabilities,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Gov. Lee also recommitted his state to recognizing “the value of employees with disabilities to the state’s current and future workforce,” and celebrated Tennessee’s “public policy accomplishments concerning expanding employment opportunities for citizens with disabilities.”
This is an important public commitment for the more than 533,630 working-age people living with disabilities in Tennessee. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennessee had a 35.2 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 78.2 percent. That means that there is a 42.9 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]