Pennsylvania Governor Signs Employment First Executive Order

Highlights of the order include:

  • Pennsylvanians with a disability are valued members of society and all members of society deserve to have the opportunity to work;
  • efforts to increase the hiring of Pennsylvanians with a disability should be based on the principle that Pennsylvanians with a disability make-up a largely untapped labor pool, and that workers with a disability add value to the workplace, whether it is because they can be dedicated, loyal, and productive members of a team or because they can increase productivity and contribute to new product and service innovations that improve a company’s bottom line;
  • Pennsylvania government is actively committed to promoting improved competitive integrated employment outcomes through its involvement as a core state selected by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program, and participation in the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services’ State Employment Leadership Network;
  • The definition of Employment First is that competitive integrated employment is the first consideration and preferred outcome of publicly-funded education, training, employment and related services, and long-term supports and services for working-age Pennsylvanians with a disability, as “disability” is defined in each agency’s governing statutes and rules.
  • Progress toward employment is to be measured by gathering and evaluating:  the labor participation rate and unemployment rate of Pennsylvanians with a disability, the number and percentage of Pennsylvania youth with a disability who successfully complete at least one paid community integrated work experience or community integrated work-based learning experience before exiting secondary education, the number and percentage of Pennsylvania youth with a disability who transition from secondary education to adult life with a competitive integrated job or an integrated

post-secondary education or training opportunity intended to lead to a competitive integrated job, the number and percentage of Pennsylvanians with a disability employed in a competitive integrated job who are participants in a Medicaid-funded or state-only funded program that provides home and community-based services; and the number of private-sector businesses that have been provided requested technical assistance with the recruitment, hiring and retention of qualified Pennsylvanians with a disability.