Did you know that there are currently 45 individuals working in the Darke County community who receive assistance from the Darke DD (and their respective partners) to retain their competitive employment jobs? Did you know that Kroger employs nearly 9% of these individuals? This is an amazing statistic that verifies Kroger’s commitment to the community of Darke County and all of the individuals living within it!
When reviewing the corporate website of The Kroger Co. you will note that one of its commitments is to “be a preferred employer where every associate feels valued and customers recognize that our people are great.” They further state that they will support this commitment through diversity – one of the company’s six core values, which says that they “seek and embrace differences in the backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities of all associates, customers and vendors.” March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Darke DD) would like to give a shout out to Kroger who assists individuals in becoming active members of the employment community.
In preparation of DD Awareness Month, Darke DD wanted to find out from some local Kroger managers what makes this working relationship successful. Kristen Alspaugh, Associate Relations Manager stated that this relationship works because Darke DD “knows the people and can help Kroger get to know them as well. This allows Kroger to understand the best way to work with those who are developmentally disabled.” When asked what she sees as a benefit of hiring individuals with a disability Alspaugh stated that “most of the associates that I have hired are positive, willing to work hard and take on a variety of tasks.” Tisha McAdams, Customer Service Manager further elaborated that she “finds that associates with disabilities are coachable and willing to learn and develop new skills to help them fulfill their job responsibilities.”
In today’s ever growing economy, Darke DD encourages all businesses to diversify their workforce and to hire individuals with disabilities. Per the Employment First website “hiring people with disabilities is good for a business’s bottom line. According to research, 92% of the American public view companies that hire people with disabilities more favorably than those that who do not. Employing people with disabilities helps generate revenues by allowing employers to tap into the disability market, build brand loyalty and trust, and create new products and services.” The website also suggests that employers will retain quality employees because “62% of employees with a disability have been at the same job three years or longer, have the same or better absentee and sick rates as non-disabled employees.” To learn more about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities please visit the Employment First website at www.employmentfirst.org.
The Employment First Partnership is an initiative between the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and local county boards of developmental disabilities to assist individuals with disabilities to obtain and retain employment. Anyone interested in learning more about the Employment First Partnership should visit their website at www.ohioemploymentfirst.org or feel free to contact Rodney Willis, Community First Director at 459-4626 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities visit our website at www.darkedd.org. Like us on Facebook – Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities.