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Career fair connects job-seekers with disabilities and inclusive employers

WHEATON, Ill. –, the award-winning job-opportunity network created in 2001 to promote the hiring of people with disabilities, will host its second virtual job fair of the year beginning June 17. All job-seekers with disabilities and employers who value disability diversity are invited to participate.


Samuel Chou, who recently found a job at the City Colleges of Chicago with the help of AbilityLinks, speaks highly of the program. “AbilityLinks gave me an opportunity to believe in myself as a person,” says Chou. “I would never have seen myself tutoring college students without their encouragement. I appreciate having the opportunity to do it.”


“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 the new federal rule that went into effect this March.” This Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) rule went into effect after a court challenge was overturned. “The key element of the rule is for federal contractors to set a goal that 7% of their workforce be persons with disabilities,” says Skord. The implications are immediate and wide-reaching. “If every company subject to this rule were to achieve the 7% employment goal, nearly 600,000 qualified workers with disabilities would be added to the workforce in just the first year,” says Patricia Shiu, OFCCP Director.


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 April 2014, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 12.5%, more than double the unemployment rate for non-disabled individuals (5.6%),” Skord says. “Employers and federal contractors can positively impact this rate by participating in our virtual job fairs and networking with this talented workforce.”


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, June 17 through Thursday, June 19. Registration for this popular event is underway and sponsorship opportunities are available. 


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 who are interested in exhibiting at or sponsoring the AbilityLinks job fair may register by clicking on the Virtual Job Fair link on the home page.



Every day, thousands of individuals join America’s fastest growing labor pool: Persons with Disabilities. Now in its fourteenth year, AbilityLinks, the free, nationwide program of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, works each day to match qualified individuals to