Best Buddies Jobs: Transforming statistics into positive change for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Best Buddies Jobs is one of the organization’s fast growing programs, and for good reason. Currently, 85% of individuals with developmental disabilities do not have a paid community job.* This is in spite of the fact that research shows that by hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), businesses gain dependable, motivated employees and create inclusive cultures that attract desirable talent. In addition, reports find that companies that hire people with IDD for business reasons and are rewarded with business benefits.** Still, almost 43% of people with IDD in the US are living below the poverty line and only 15.5% of these individuals are working; of that, only 19.1% of people with IDD in the US are working in integrated community settings.***
(transcript of the email below)
I wanted to share this great e-mail that was sent to the employees at Holland & Knight’s Boston office. Cristen M. has been employed with Holland & Knight for 15 years! Not many individuals or companies can say they’ve had this kind of positive long-term experience in the workplace.
Companies like Holland & Knight are stepping up to the plate by making the choice to hire people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and in turn finding that they have included talented, dependable and loyal workers like Cristen.
Billionaire Carlos Slim and Best Buddies International Founder Anthony K. Shriver Call on Employers to Pledge “I’M IN TO HIRE” Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
New Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) report highlights the business benefits from hiring people with IDD
Business leaders, celebrities and supporters across the nation are joining billionaire industrialist Carlos Slim and Anthony K. Shriver, founder and chairman of Best Buddies International, today to challenge employers to pledge “I’M IN TO HIRE” individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
I’M IN TO HIRE is a campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the lack of employment for those living with IDD and to showcase the measurable business benefits of hiring them.
According to National Core Indicators (NCI), a staggering 85% of adults with developmental disabilities did not have a paid job in the community in 2012-2013. When qualified candidates are unable to find a job, it perpetuates statistics like this one, and limits the ability of individuals with IDD to gain financial independence.
One of Best Buddies’ three key mission pillars is to enrich the lives of people with IDD by helping them secure jobs and gain financial independence.
“People with IDD are incredibly talented, loyal, hard-working and driven individuals who have the ability to contribute to the workplace but unfortunately they are disproportionately unemployed in our nation and beyond, said Shriver who founded Best Buddies International in 1989. “The impact individuals with IDD have made on our society is beyond exceptional and the work place should be no different.”
Rooted in the key findings of the groundbreaking 2014 report by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), “Employing People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,” I’M IN TO HIRE will bring to light the significant business benefits of hiring people with IDD so that more companies will take action. High-performance organizations surveyed for the study who currently employ people with IDD, such as the law firm Holland & Knight and Silicon Valley Bank, reported the following benefits:
- 57% reported the addition of highly motivated employees who are good talent matches
- 43% said it produces measureable and observable business benefits
- 47% reported an inclusive culture attractive to talent pools
- 60% said it supports their diversity and inclusion strategy
“It is our responsibility and commitment to help solve the problems of our society, complementing the government’s efforts,” said Slim, a longtime supporter of Best Buddies who is working to expand its programs throughout Latin America. “The I’M IN TO HIRE campaign is challenging all of us around the world to open our minds and consider people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as qualified, dependable, employable candidates. These individuals are dedicated, skilled workers and it is clear that their involvement in the economic activity is relevant for all of society.”
“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities comprise an underutilized population of potential employees. Yet, our research reveals many ways employing workers with IDD has a positive influence on co-workers, customers, the community and a company’s bottom line.” said Kevin Martin, Chief Research and Marketing Officer, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).
Celebrities including Cheryl Hines, Carl Lewis, and Lauren Potter have already taken the “I’M IN TO HIRE” pledge, as well as business executives and elected officials across the country.
“I challenge corporations all over the world to invest in and hire this incredible group of people, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s a great business investment, one that increases company’s bottom lines and improves their corporate culture,” Shriver said. “Today we ask corporations, government agencies, small businesses, nonprofits and others to pledge “I’M IN TO HIRE” for a more inclusive workplace.”