AbilityLinks.org to Host Three-Day Virtual Job Fair Beginning March 25

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Career fair connects job-seekers with disabilities and inclusive employers

A new rule by the U.S. Department ofLabor alters federal contractors existing affirmative actionand nondiscrimination obligations for individuals with disabilities,including setting hiring goals for disabled individuals.

AbilityLinks.org, the award-winning job-opportunity network created in 2001 to promote the hiring of people with disabilities, will host its first virtual job fair of the year beginning March 25. All job-seekers with disabilities and employers that value disability diversity are invited to participate.

“AbilityLinks has hosted numerous job fairs over the last few years because they are dynamic and accessible from almost anywhere,” explains Ken Skord, AbilityLinks program director. “These virtual job fairs not only benefit talented—yet often overlooked—job-seekers and inclusive employers, but will also help federal contractors comply with a new rule scheduled to go into effect March 24, 2014. It sets a 7% utilization goal for qualified persons with disabilities within each of the contractor’s job groups or their entire workforce. The rule also requires that contractors invite job applicants to voluntarily disclose having a disability before a job is offered. Read more about this rule at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/section503.htm .”

The virtual job fair, which is free to both job-seekers and employers, will match talented job-seekers with disabilities to employment opportunities from entry level to technical and professional. The online recruiting event is accessible 24 hours a day, from Tuesday, March 25 through Thursday, March 27. Registration for this popular event is underway and sponsorship opportunities are available.

Skord and his team offer support to job-seekers, employers, and service providers by creating connections and strategies that promote a more inclusive workforce. “As of January 2014, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 13.3%, double the unemployment rate for non-disabled individuals,” Skord says. “Employers and federal contractors can positively impact this rate by participating in our virtual job fairs and networking with this talented workforce.”

Exhibiting employers will receive a virtual booth, company profile page, and unlimited job postings with links to their preferred online application page. Job-seekers will be able to post various styles of their résumé, tailoring them to specific areas of interest and submit their résumés directly to employers. Job-seekers and employers will also have the opportunity to connect in live chat sessions.

AbilityLinks also offers a mentoring program, which connects job-seekers with an established working professional for input and encouragement in their job search. Job-seekers and employers that are interested in exhibiting at or sponsoring the AbilityLinks job fair may register by clicking on the Virtual Job Fair link on http://www.AbilityLinks.org.

About AbilityLinks.org
Every day, thousands of individuals join America’s fastest growing labor pool: Persons with Disabilities. Now in its thirteenth year, AbilityLinks, the free, nationwide program of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, works each day to match qualified individuals to employers that embrace diversity. The program has assisted hundreds of these individuals find employment. Embrace diversity; employ persons with disabilities.
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Denise LeBloch
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