Think Beyond the Label Launches Partnership Program for Companies Looking to Hire People with Disabilities

Qualcomm signs on as newest partner to "think beyond the label"

Think Beyond the Label, a public-private collaborative that works to increase employment for qualified job seekers with disabilities, launched a corporate partnership program for federal contractors and other employers seeking to recruit candidates and showcase their dedication to hiring people with disabilities.

Mobile technology company Qualcomm is the newest partner to join the Think Beyond the Label campaign. Qualcomm, UnitedHealth Group and others participating in the program are able to take advantage of Think Beyond the Label’s unique message — “Labels get in the way, disabilities rarely do” — to advertise their career benefits and job opportunities for people with disabilities on the Think Beyond the Label website and online jobs board.

Partner companies can also use Think Beyond the Label’s award-winning campaign materials, including a suite of co-branded print, online and social recruitment marketing and media resources that are designed to build buzz for a company’s hiring program and position their workplace as inclusive and disability-friendly to job seekers as well as to their employees and customers.

“One out of five Americans has a disability, but employers still struggle with finding candidates,” says Barbara Otto, CEO of Health & Disability Advocates, the Chicago-based nonprofit organization that operates Think Beyond the Label. “Our corporate partnership program showcases companies’ investments in diversity employment and workplace innovation to the thousands of qualified job seekers with disabilities we attract through our campaign, website and disability-specific jobs board,” she says.

Think Beyond the Label created the corporate partnership program to help employers fulfill their workplace diversity and compliance needs ahead of a proposed U.S. Department of Labor rule that would require the nation’s 255,000 federal contractors to employ at least 7% of their workforce with qualified people with disabilities. The Labor Department will publish its final rule later this year.

The program also seeks to educate federal contractors and other employers around the need to move beyond traditional routes for recruiting people with disabilities, such as through federal entities and state vocational rehabilitation agencies, where job candidates may not have the skills or be suited for a full-time role.

“The majority of qualified job seekers with disabilities users do not use the public workforce system to find jobs; instead they prefer to rely on their education, skills and experience to find jobs with diversity and inclusion–minded companies,” Otto says.

Think Beyond the Label’s 3,000 registered users live across 50 states and have experience in 26 different industry types ranging from Aerospace/Defense to Hospitals & Healthcare. More than 25% of registered users have five years of relevant job experience, and 20% have more than 10 years of experience. More than 30% have a professional certification or college level degree or beyond.

“Think Beyond the Label takes a creative approach to attracting and engaging qualified job seekers with disabilities,” says Dr. Daniel Sullivan, executive vice president of human resources at Qualcomm. "We strongly support their message and look forward to working with them in Qualcomm's continuing efforts to recruit diverse, skilled and well qualified employees."


About Think Beyond the Label
Think Beyond the Label is a private-public partnership that helps businesses and the public workforce system more effectively recruit, hire and retain job seekers with disabilities across 50 states. Our partnership spans state health and human service and employment agencies; businesses; and Health & Disability Advocates, a national private nonprofit organization that manages the Think Beyond the Label partnership. For more information please go to www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com.


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