Not-for-Profit Links Disabled Persons and Veterans with Employers
Diana Corso, who runs disABLEDperson.com and Job Opportunities for Disabled Veterans (JOFDAV.com), has been passionate about both endeavors for years, establishing her family’s not-for-profit as one of the first and most extensively networked of its kind. In the interview that follows, Mike Corso, Programs and Partnerships Manager, explains the benefits of using his organization’s resources to connect jobs and people with disabilities. Read more below.
TalentRISE: Can you describe your mission for our readers?
Corso: First, I want to dispel the notion that we are just job boards. While disABLEDperson.com averages over 16,000 Unique Visitors and over 350,000 new active jobs per month and JOFDAV.com over 3,500 Unique Visitors and 250,000 new active jobs per month at any given time, our scope is much wider than that.
We run a not-for-profit whose mission is to reduce the unemployment rate for people with disabilities, including those who served in the military. We work closely with disability organizations, vocational rehabilitation departments across the U.S., Wounded Warrior Transition Command Centers, DVOPs (Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialists), LVERs (Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives) and multiple military organizations that support our nation’s heroes in their job search for employment. Through our efforts, we help bring marketable job skills to employers by partnering with other organizations. For example, we provide two programs through Microsoft’s Imagine Academy Program of eLearning. On the military side, a program we run in conjunction with Wounded Warriors allows those individuals to sit for certification. To date, over 340 disabled veterans have gone through the program. Some use it to advance their digital literacy; others use the academy as a way to augment their college degree. We also offer our program to numerous state Departments of Vocational Rehabilitation.
TalentRISE: How did you get started?
Corso: My wife, Diana Corso, started the organization back in 1999, as a magazine for people with disabilities. She shortly began to get feedback from her readers saying that what they really wanted was information on how to find work. So, in 2002, we made a decision to become a non-profit and create the first job board as a tool for employers and job seekers. In 2009, we received a grant from Semper Energy and revamped the job board, built the API (Program Interface) and, that same year, contacts through the Department of Labor and Department of Defense prompted us to build a board with a similar structure for disabled vets. Both job boards are now pervasive within their respective communities and back-linked to resources and organizations across the internet.
We’ve grown significantly in the last few years, particularly since federal compliance rules have changed. For example, the new rules enacted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance in 2014 have changed the landscape of employment for those with disabilities. Because of that, we have become very relevant.
TalentRISE: What do you provide employers that they may not currently be able to access through other sites?
Corso: There are other sites, both for-profit and nonprofit, out there. However, what separates us from the rest is branding – and that we have been around a long time. For disabled persons, we are the only national job board that is listed as a resource on the OFCCP website. Additionally, both the boards were built to capture all six points on compliance. Employers have on demand access to metrics in real time and we offer employers backing in case of an audit in the form of letters of support. And, as a charity, we do not charge extra for that. Our motto is simply to serve. We are here for our community and to fulfill our mission in filling as many jobs as possible.
TalentRISE: What’s the rationale for an employer to use your site?
Corso: What we tell employers who want to be proactive in hiring people with disabilities is that we will get the job in front of the right eyes. If they work with us, they have access to our resume database and we’ll get eyes on their jobs through technology whether job alerts, text alerts, Facebook etc. Basically, there are three reasons employers see value in what we do (1) compliance (2) the payroll tax deduction and (3) heart for our community.
TalentRISE: Besides a job board, it seems you have a lot of pertinent info for job seekers and for employers. Can you elaborate?
Corso: Sure. We try to give job seekers as much information as we can. So we look at what will help them the most, whether it’s blog articles on how to conduct a search or how to write a resume. We also offer a lot of information to employers, such as how to accommodate a person with a disability.
TalentRISE: What’s next for you?
Corso: In 2017 we hope to launch a couple of new products including virtual job fairs. We’re also starting a newsletter and, while it’s still in the planning phases, 85,000 people across the country have already signed up for it.
disABLEDperson, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 Public Charity based in Encinitas, CA. 92023-0636. For more information, click on https://www.disabledperson.com/about-us and/or https://www.jofdav.com/itacademy-intro . You can reach Mike directly by phone at 760-420-1269 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TalentRISE offers solutions to help employers meet their goals for hiring veterans and people with disabilities. If you would like to schedule a free consultation regarding how best to address your needs or challenges, please contact our Partner, Carl Kutsmode at email@example.com or phone 773-916-6801.