Disability Mentoring Day and Job Fair


What: Job Seeker Training and Job Fair for Disabled Job Seekers

When: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Monday, October 20, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(Check-in from 8:15 to 9:00 a.m.)

Where: October 7: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road,
Kansas City, Missouri 64110.
October 20: Olathe Holiday Inn, 101 W. 151st Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061.

For More Information, and to Register as either a Job Seeker or Employer, Contact:
Missouri: Mark Smith, The Helping Hands of Goodwill Industries, 1817 Campbell, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, (816)842-7425 x308, msmight@mokangoodwill.org.

Kansas: Barney Mayse, The Whole Person, Inc. 7301 Mission, Suite 135, Prairie Village, Kansas 66208, (913)262-1294, bmayse@thewholeperson.org.

About the Olathe Event:
The City of Olathe's Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board (PDAB), in cooperation with the Greater Kansas City Disability Mentoring Day Committee, will host the 2008 Greater Kansas City Disability Mentoring Day and Job Fair in Olathe for area residents with disabilities on October 20th.

Like the Kansas City event, the Olathe event includes training in the areas of resume writing, interviewing skills, networking, and interpersonal skills in the workplace and lunch for participants. The guest luncheon speaker for both the Kansas and Missouri events will be David Westbrook,
President and CEO of Corporate Communications Group, Inc. for the past 34 years and recently named Senior Vice President for Strategy and Innovation at Children's Mercy Hospital. Mr. Westbrook was diagnosed with Juvenile Glaucoma at age 12 and, within five years had lost all vision. His strategic counsel has been sought by major Fortune 500 companies, including Sprint and Hallmark, and he is regarded one of the finest public relations professionals in the country.

Following lunch, the job fair will be held, providing an opportunity for disabled job seekers and area employers to connect. In addition, there will also be booths for area service organizations that provide services to the disabled community.

Last year's events attracted over 200 job seekers and more than 30 employers.

According to the United States Chamber of Commerce's booklet, Disability: Dispelling the Myths - How People with Disabilities Can Meet Employer Needs, there is an increasing shortage of employees in the U.S. that can be addressed by hiring the disabled, who "are average or above average in performance, attendance and safety," and "are inclined to remain in their jobs longer than the general workforce." Moreover, it is generally inexpensive to accommodate a handicapped employee and employers may be eligible for tax credits and deductions for creating a disability-friendly workplace.

According to PDAB Chairman Mark Gash, last year's program far exceeded expectations, and an even larger and more successful event is planned for this year. He says, "This is an exciting time for many residents and employers. We are riding a wave of momentum from last year's events, and once again this year, both participants and employers will not be disappointed."

Registrations for both employers and employees are being accepted now through Friday, September 26, 2008. Please contact the individuals listed above to register. The registration fee for employers is $50. The registration fee for service organizations is $25. The events are free for disabled job seekers. Employers, service organizations and job seekers may attend one or both events.
Free transportation is available to Johnson County residents through the Johnson County Catch-A-Ride program by calling (913)715-8900 for a ride to and from any of the events. All calls will need to be made three days prior to the event and callers will need to state which Disability Awareness Week events they will be at tending. There is no charge for the rides, but donations are accepted to help pay for the gas used by the volunteers to transport individuals to and from the events.

An audio PSA is available for radio.
For More Information Contact: Brenda Volle (913) 971-8790