Joyce Bender and President ClintonHiring people with disabilities should not be thought of as a charitable act; it is a business solution for your corporation or organization. Your hiring managers will be making a good business decision that will pay off in dividends, and will also be the right thing to do.

We have experienced a significant economic decline. As time moves forward, businesses are recovering; but we are careful about our hiring decisions when head count is so precious. With few open positions, we must hire the very best and we must demand accountability at work. We need people who value work.

For this reason, I am challenging hiring managers across the U.S. to include people with disabilities when making a hiring decision. Qualified people with disabilities are a great choice when making a hiring decision. You will be able to hire an American who really values what many people take for granted-competitive employment.

I have worked in employment since 1979 and realize the value of making a good hiring decision. A trait that is highly desired today is a good attitude. A good attitude has an impact, on not only that person’s work performance, but on the morale of others. A bad attitude in an employee is deadly to the group. You cannot afford to hire an employee with a bad attitude. For this reason, you will be pleased with the enthusiasm and positive attitude of a person with a disability.

Another important trait employer's look for is loyalty. When you employ a person with a disability, you will gain an employee who is loyal and who will be less likely to "jump ship" and cost the employer thousands of lost dollars. When you hire a person with a disability, you have given them a great treasure - freedom to do what everyone else does. Now that person can rent an apartment, buy a car, and go on vacation.

Additionally, people with disabilities have other inherent traits that are valuable to an employer such as: thinking outside the box, tolerance, being a team player, problem solving and patience. People with disabilities have to be patient; we have no choice.

This year I am challenging you to join the ranks of great American companies like Highmark, CSC, Bayer Corporation, and Wellpoint and include a group of Americans who want to work and appreciate work - people with disabilities. We will contribute to the success of the American economy.

Joyce A. Bender
President and CEO