Employment rate rises for disabled adults in Tennessee
JACKSON, Tenn. — In 2018, Tennessee added more than 4,000 jobs for disabled citizens, according to the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.
STAR Center President Dave Bratcher says this is a step in the right direction for Tennesseans.
“Those with disabilities want to work, they can work, and we are very excited that Tennessee is making a step in getting our state where it needs to be,” Bratcher said.
Bratcher says there are unexpected benefits to employing disabled adults, and many companies are starting to realize it.
“What we know is the turnover for folks with disabilities in employment is much, much lower,” Bratcher said.
He added that low turnover rates gives businesses more stability.
STAR Center Director of Employment Services Ray Holder says the economy has opened up more positions in West Tennessee.
“A lot of people have been taking jobs that they’re overqualified for, because there just weren’t that many jobs in the past. Now they’re able to go into those positions, so it opens up a spot for our clients,” Holder said.
Holder explained how support services like the STAR Center help bring more disabled adults into the workforce.
“If you do have other support services, they also want to talk to you about going to work, because that’s just a natural progression for everyone,” Holder said.
Bratcher emphasized the center’s commitment to making sure the disabled persons reach their full potential.
“We’re working every day to close that gap, to introduce employers to the idea of employing someone with a disability,” Bratcher said.
Bratcher says West Tennessee Healthcare, the Old Country Store and local hotels are their biggest partners.