For Immediate Release | October 29, 2021
On October 29, 2021, the Colorado Division of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) honored employers and individuals who help advance workplaces inclusive of people with disabilities during its 5th annual Shining Stars of Disability Employment Awards ceremony.
The ceremony came at the close of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual, national campaign that seeks to increase awareness of the many talents people with disabilities bring to the workplace, the employment barriers they face, and what employers and workers without disabilities can do to create inclusive work cultures.
“The employers we honored at the Shining Stars ceremony understand the moral imperative of creating inclusive talent management practices and welcoming workplaces. They also understand that doing so is also good for business. Research has shown that hiring people with disabilities can result in increased profits and employee engagement, reduced turnover, and expanded talent pools,” said Kristin Corash, Director of DVR. “Their success would be impossible without the intentional efforts of individuals like the ones we celebrated. Their tireless dedication to advancing inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace makes Colorado a better place to live and work.”
As a champion for disability employment, Lieutenant Governor Diane Primavera lauded the work of these awardees. She has been at the forefront of sponsoring the state’s Disability Inclusion Challenge, which encourages state agencies to accomplish 15 tasks in the month October designed to increase inclusivity in the workplace for people with disabilities.
Adecco and Woodward, Inc. are the recipients of the Shining Stars of Disability Employment 2021 Award for a large employer. The pandemic offered an opportunity for Woodward, Inc and Adecco to pivot and focus on their equity, diversity and inclusion goals, including a concerted effort to hire individuals with disabilities.
Kahar Plumbing and Jeff Gallagher are the recipients of the small employer award. Mr. Gallagher has committed to hiring various youth with disabilities in his business.
Jula Borhaft, School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) Coordinator of the Northeast BOCES is the recipient of the rural champion award. Jula is invested in her community and assisting those youth with disabilities in exposure to the world of work.
Nicole Berg, Inclusion Administrator of Larimer County Human Services is the Shining Stars of Disability Employment individual awardee and is viewed as a professional of integrity and inclusion.