Nearly one in five Americans lives with a disability. Here in the Pittsburgh region, that means about 500,000 of our family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers face a medical challenge that may or may not be readily apparent. More than 300,000 of those individuals are working-age adults, and many thousands more are minors who will reach working age in the next 15 years. Currently, fewer than 20 percent of adults with disabilities participate in the labor force, and for those who do, the unemployment rate is more than double the rate for people without disabilities.
Experts estimate that tens of thousands of individuals with disabilities who have dropped out of the labor force are capable of working, but misunderstanding, stereotypes and a lack of access to opportunity have made it difficult or impossible for many to find employment. As we look to our future and realize that the challenge of finding skilled workers for the jobs that exist today will only become more critical as baby boomers continue to retire, it is imperative that the business community and civic leaders come together to examine the issue of disability and employment in our region.
How is the Region Responding?
In October 2013, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Giant Eagle Executive Chairman David S. Shapira and PNC Financial Services Group Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer William S. Demchak co-hosted an executive summit to bring renewed attention to the importance of employing people with disabilities. Building on that meeting, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) – the nation's largest disability rights organization – designated Pittsburgh as the 2014 national host city for Disability Mentoring Day. And regional civic leaders, corporate and community partners have come together to create a three-day Summit on the issue that you can be a part of.
Monday, October 13
Tuesday, October 14
Tuesday events take place in the Hyundai Club West Lounge at Heinz Field; see below for transportation, parking and where to enter Heinz Field to attend
Wednesday, October 15
The Disability Employment Summit is designed to engage employers, individuals with disabilities and their advocates. The Summit seeks to foster discussion about economic inclusion of the disability community, as well as strategies to increase employment among people with disabilities throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Through educational and networking sessions, attendees will learn about actionable initiatives and strategies that align with their organizations' diversity workplace and business objectives. In addition, the Summit will provide individuals with a broader understanding of industries, opportunities and resources for career development.
Logistical Information for October 14
Transportation: Individuals must get to and from the Summit on their own; transportation will not be provided.
Parking: Available just across the street from Heinz Field at the Carnegie Science Center at a rate of $7 (cash only) for the day.
Public Transportation: The Allegheny T Station is conveniently located just a short distance from the entrance to Heinz Field. All T rides are free at all times between the two North Shore stations (Allegheny and North Side) and all four Downtown stations (Gateway, Wood Street, Steel Plaza and First Avenue). Please refer to the Port Authority website for lines and schedule times.
Entering Heinz Field: Enter through Suite Entry C, adjacent to Gate C
|Allegheny Technologies Incorporated||Gateway Financial Group, Inc.|
|Bayer MaterialScience LLC||Geneva College|
|Bender Consulting Services||Giant Eagle, Inc.|
|BNY Mellon||LANXESS Corporation|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Manchester Bidwell Corporation|
|Citizens Bank of PA/NY/NJ/DE||MSA Safety, Inc.|
|Dollar Bank||Nova Chemicals Corporation|
|Duquesne University||PITT OHIO|
|Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Inc.||PPG Industries, Inc.|
|Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central PA||Reed Smith LLP|
|EQT Corporation||Sign Language Interpreting Professionals|
|Federated Investors, Inc.||United States Steel Corporation|
|FedEx Ground||University of Pittsburgh|
|First Niagra Bank||UPMC|