Nominate employers who recruit, hire and promote workers with disabilities

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To spotlight the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, the Washington State Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE) is opening nominations for the 32nd annual Governor’s Employer Awards.

Nominations are now open and close July 31, 2024.

The Governor’s Employer Awards program honors and celebrates the many and varied contributions Washington’s employers make to recruit, hire and advance workers with disabilities.

Studies show that diversity and inclusion policies correlate with high performance and create opportunities, improve performance and boost profit margins.

“Washington’s private and public employers are known for supporting a workforce based on equity, diversity, inclusion and antiracism,” said Yvonne Bussler-White, GCDE’s Awards Committee chair. “The employer awards give us a chance to acknowledge and appreciate all their efforts.”

The awards program honors employers of all sizes in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. It also honors one employer who supports youths with disabilities through employment preparation and job skills training.

The GCDE also welcomes nominations for three awards to individuals:

The Direct Support Professional Award, honoring a job coach or developer who has made significant achievements in the successful employment of workers with disabilities.

The Governor’s Trophy in Memory of Carolyn Blair Brown, honoring a person with a disability who has developed or influenced programs, services and legislation. This person’s work has enhanced the empowerment of individuals with disabilities in Washington state.

The Toby Olson Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring an individual who embodies the qualities and characteristics of the late Toby Olson, former GCDE executive director. This award recognizes someone who has made a lifetime commitment to addressing the inequities that those with disabilities face in their community and at the state and national levels. And this person can demonstrate specific, direct actions dramatically changing the lives of those in the disability community.

Find nomination forms and instructions on the Governor’s Committee website. You also can request a nomination packet and get more information from Emily Heike. Contact her by phone at 360-890-3776 or by email GCDEawards@esd.a.gov. Email is preferred.

The awards ceremony will be in October.

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