Zonta Website Sponsor The Workforce Diversity Network of the Black Hills Provides Awareness and Education.

September 13, 2016 9:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

As South Dakota is growing part of this growth is aimed at increasing workplace inclusion of individuals with disabilities. With this great opportunity I would like to introduce myself, I’m Catherine Greseth, The Executive Director of The Workforce Diversity Network of The Black Hills. WDN of BH is a nonprofit organization with a Board of 9 Trustees made up of Human Resource managers, Business owners, business law attorneys from Jackson Lewis and rehabilitation councilors and supervisors. We understand that a healthy workforce is inclusive of individuals with disabilities and how these individuals can improve your businesses bottom line. We offer free education and consulting to businesses on hiring and retaining individuals who are or become disabled. Did you know that more than 53 million Americans have a disability and 1 out of 4 of us will be disabled in our working lifetime?  Through awareness and education we can identify common challenges and connect you to resources and partnerships. These include Vocational Rehabilitation, other employers, accommodations including Dakota Link, Black Hills Special Services, The Rocky Mountain ADA, and Services to the Blind and Visually Impaired, just to name a few.  We can provide trainings that include; disability and etiquette, what are the essential functions of a job, what can and cannot be asked in an interview, help you understand State and Federal guidelines and many other topics. We are here to help your business increase your bottom line by helping you understand all the benefits of hiring and retaining people with disabilities, and tap into this huge employee resource. Employees with disabilities miss less work; they are resourceful and are problem solvers. Individuals with disabilities can open up a whole new market for your business. Let me give you an example, a large portion of the consumer market is the Baby Boomers, with age alone come disabilities, so when you have employees with disabilities they can better understand what is needed when taking care of a customer with a disability, and that can lead to customer loyalty! 

The Workforce Diversity Network of the Black Hills is here to help your business with best practices, which can be implemented to include, applicants or current employees that have a disability. We will also help you understand what is considered a disability under the ADA and section 503.

When it comes to outstanding employees we all want to retain them, but what happens if they become disabled from a sickness or an accident? WDN of BH will help you retain these valuable employees through the return to work program, accommodations and modified schedules. Let me reassure you that most accommodations cost very little and many times nothing at all when we are looking at some simple things, such as a flexible work schedule, standing instead of sitting, or adjustment in lighting. For those needing more the average cost was only 500.00 compared to employee turnover that can cost on average of at least $8,000.00, and that is just to replace a minimum wage employee.

These are just a few of the ways that The WDN OF BH can help your business standout and thrive.

I look forward to meeting and working with all of you and invite you join us October 13th at 7 am at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn for our annual breakfast honoring National Disability Employment Awareness Month, NDEAM. The Keynote Speaker will be Helene Duhamel as she takes us through her disability of cancer and continuing to work. Kathleen Barrow of Jackson/lewis will discuss briefly what is considered a disability by the law and what accommodations can be made.  We will honor 3 businesses that are leading the way in understanding disabilities in the work place through employment. 

When we work we contribute to our society and our own self-worth.

Invest in your business by calling The Workforce Diversity Network of the Black Hills today, our services are always free and we are here to help you connect to the resources and network with other businesses to create culture where everyone can reach their full potential.

Our Number is 605 787 2590.
Our website is www.wdnbh.org
Like us on Facebook WDN of The Black Hills
And follow us on twitter @ WDN OF BH

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Zonta Club of the Black Hills • President: Jo Prang
PO Box 8163
Rapid City, South Dakota 57709 • (605) 390-8250 • E-Mail: zontablackhills@hotmail.com

Charter No. 0246 • District 12, Area 1 • Organized October 12, 1950
A member of Zonta Club International