HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly D. Mackereth and Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway today kicked off the second annual Pennsylvania Disability Employment Summit (PADES) with business leaders, advocates, providers, and people with disabilities to discuss the importance of helping people with disabilities gain employment and achieve independence.
In addition, Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq and Deputy Secretary of Transportation Toby Fauver were in attendance to participate in a roundtable discussion on how their agencies play a role in providing services that assist people with disabilities.
"Governor Corbett and this administration are focused on improving the quality of life for Pennsylvania's individuals and families," Mackereth said. "However, we can't do this alone. The PADES conference brings together the right players to focus on providing people with disabilities opportunities and new ideas to increase independence."
The summit, sponsored by the Governor's Cabinet and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities and the ARC of Luzerne County, unites disability advocates, business leaders, government agencies, and service providers to discuss the importance of employment and the value people with disabilities add to private-sector companies' workforce.
"Labor & Industry's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and its 1,100 employees around the state work every day to provide individualized assistance to people with disabilities and no-cost assistance to businesses that hire people with disabilities," Hearthway said. "People with disabilities are an often untapped labor pool but can add value to a company's bottom line through product innovation and staff loyalty."
In addition to the summit, the Governor's Cabinet and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities host business roundtable discussions throughout the year to address the need to better diversify the workforce in Pennsylvania.
Visit www.padesummit.org for more information.
Carey Miller, Department of Welfare, 717-425-7606
Sara Goulet, Labor & Industry, 717-787-7530
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Department of Labor and Industry