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Building Bridges

Building Bridges June/July 2011


Celebrating Diversity
Submitted by Alice Hunnicutt, State Director
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Alice’s Angle

Diversity has many faces. We think of gender, origin, the color of a person’s skin, the language a person speaks, economic status, and even family structure. Employers look at their workforce in terms of diversity because it makes such good business sense. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development expanded its definition of diversity officially when the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services was formally moved into the Workforce area a year ago. The DVRS provides services to individuals with disabilities seeking competitive employment. Competitive jobs generate tax revenue and this enables individuals of all abilities to spend discretionary income which contributes to the state’s economy.

It was an honor for me to represent the Department at the second annual Disability Awareness Day on Saturday, June18th at the TD Bank Ball Park. This event was sponsored by EmPoWER Somerset, an agency that has been serving individuals, families and communities of Somerset County for over 35 years. Over 400 families and individuals with disabilities attended the event. Booths were set up that included information on a myriad of topics related to disability, including information from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Individuals with disabilities seeking employment were able to get connected to New Jersey’s diverse workforce system on June 18th, and the Somerset Patriots won the game. It was a win-win for everybody!