Our country sets aside certain days and months each year to recognize causes or significant events. One of these is National Disability Employment Awareness Month each October, a time to educate employers and others about the value of hiring individuals with disabilities.
I propose that every month this year have the same focus on the value and benefit of hiring individuals with disabilities.
Our country is experiencing an unprecedented exodus of people who have voluntarily elected to disengage from the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that 4.3 million people — roughly 2.9% of those employed — opted out of the workforce in August alone. This is a staggering and troubling trend. The BLS also reported that were nearly 11 million job openings as of the end of July, with this number anticipated to grow.
Businesses and the public sector would greatly benefit from incorporating individuals with disabilities into recruitment strategies and hiring plans. This is a vast, largely untapped pool of individuals who are eager and readily available to work. Many such people are well-trained and have the requisite supports to be successful. Additionally, these same individuals are highly motivated and have a desire to do a good job.
The majority of businesses that have hired a person with a disability report that their work is of high quality, and that the employee improves morale and work culture, enhances productivity, leads to increased staff retention and promotes greater diversity.
There are numerous tax incentives that an employer may use to grow a business when they hire someone with a disability. Simply put, including individuals with disabilities in the workforce is not just a good thing to do. It is, in fact, good business.
Shawn M. McInerney, president and CEO, The Midland Corp., North Branch.
Editor’s note: Midland is a nonprofit organization that serves children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Virginia race too much about race
The party of fear has won again, with Republican Glenn Youngkin having been elected as governor of Virginia.
A major turning point in Virginia was suburban residents, women in particular, who put education as the top issue in the election. That would have been encouraging if the focus was on quality education, but instead it was about pushing the fear represented by the ogre of “critical race theory,” or CRT.
Most voters didn’t even know what CRT is. They were told it was about making your child feel guilty for being white and for mistreating Black Americans. Although CRT itself is rarely taught in schools, many of its opponents seem to have the view that no history that brings up past treatment of African Americans should be included in a school curriculum. As in, “Let’s avoid the truth so our children don’t feel guilty.”
Wow! We are in worse shape than I thought.
Gerard F. Limone Sr., Clifton
Constitution’s rights begin in the womb
Noah Feldman’s analysis, originally written for Bloomberg Opinion, “If the court reverses Roe v. Wade, its very legitimacy may be at risk,” claims that none of the U.S. Supreme Court’s previous very bad or horribly wrong decisions took away a well-established, individual constitutional right.
Not unintentionally, Feldman never mentions the Constitution’s guarantee to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all people, including, according to my beliefs, those people who are awaiting their birth.
Feldman asserts that the Supreme Court only reverses itself when it creates or extends new rights that did not exist before. In cases that test the legality of abortion, the new right extended through a Roe v. Wade reversal would be the right of a pre-born child to leave the womb, embarking upon the pursuit of happiness.
A failure to grant a child a chance to thrive would be supremely unconstitutional.
Clare Wharton, Parsippany
Disqualify Sinema, Manchin as responsible lawmakers
I am beyond disgusted and exasperated by Democrat U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — the “Damn, no!-crats.”
They have huge campaign donations and investments that preclude them from being responsible participants in Congress. Don’t tell me that Manchin is working for the miners dying of lung disease in his state.
Our country is in the midst of a climate crisis that we must respond to now. We need to make the changes necessary to survive better. Too many have been negatively affected in New Jersey and elsewhere by catastrophes. We must work together to diminish the effects of these situations.
We need to stop being duped by those who profit from us being scapegoated and separated from each other. We end up warring against each other and our common interests.
Billionaires and corporations should have to pay minimum taxes. All income should be taxed equitably. If you are living on dividends instead of working at a job, you are still earning.
We need to listen to each other’s needs and stop being distracted by wants. We need an America working together for ourselves. Speak up and demand it.
Susan Deile, Marlboro Township
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