New U.S. DHH Challenge Highlights the Importance of Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

Deadline to submit proposals is February 14, 2020

At RHA, we are committed to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities while providing opportunities for businesses to hire a diverse, well-trained, and committed workforce in the Southeast. Our goal is to obtain and maintain competitive employment and to provide the training and the skills needed for people to live and work as independently as possible.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a competition titled “An Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses” that challenges American businesses to expand human capital pipelines by drawing upon highly talented and diverse workforces, inclusive of people with disabilities.

From the DHH competition brief:

People with disabilities use creativity to navigate the world, and in turn they develop unique strengths, such as problem-solving skills, persistence, forethought and an eagerness to innovate — all of which are essential to today’s market. American businesses that employ and support workers with disabilities see improved performance over their industry peers. On average these firms have:

  • 28% higher revenue, double the net income, and
  • 30% higher economic profit margins compared to businesses that did not engage in disability employment and inclusion efforts.1

In addition, companies that employ and support workers with disabilities were twice as likely as companies that do not to have higher total shareholder returns than their peers.  Further:

  • Innovation leads to the development of products and programs that are accessible for all.
  • Investors increasingly scrutinize company culture and diversity, including disability inclusion, in investment decisions.
  • Inclusive business environments often see improved productivity levels with the addition of employees with disabilities.

The initial phase of the challenge seeks proposals from competitors who aim to innovate and tailor the pipeline models to include individuals with IDD. The deadline to submit proposals is February 14, 2020. The total cash prize pool for all phases of the challenge is $380,000.

Click here to view the full challenge brief and instructions to apply.

RHA offers an array of services through vocational rehabilitation, waiver, and state-funded employment services, high school transition programs, community-based programs, and supports people with mental illness and substance use issues. Services vary by state. Click here to learn more about our Employment Services.