There are many programs available to students with disabilities. The Workforce Recruitment Program is a government-backed resource that aims to connect public and private sector employers with motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities.
According to Paul Meyer, acting staff director for the federal project, there are currently about 200 participating colleges and universities throughout the country. Any school that has eight or more interested students can sign up to take part.
The program, which has been around for 27 years, places students in internships and permanent jobs with employers throughout the country. According to Meyer, the majority of placements are within the federal sector. Administrators have been pushing for more placements within the private sector, but with limited success.
It’s a marketing issue, said Meyer. Just not enough employers are aware of the program. However, employers who do use the program continue to participate. Once it works, people continue doing it, added Meyer.
Who is eligible to participate in the Workforce Recruitment Program?
An applicant must:
- Have a substantial disability
- Be a United States citizen
- Be enrolled in an accredited two-year or four-year college or university, or a graduate or professional school within the past year.
The program is an excellent way for students with disabilities in all fields of study to:
- Market their abilities to a wide variety of potential employers across the United States
- Sharpen their interviewing skills during a required one-on-one interview with a WRP recruiter
- Gain valuable skills, experiences and contacts on the job
- Prove that people with disabilities can be excellent employees
-Source: U.S. Department of Labor