Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today signed an executive order that will lead to increased job opportunities for Michiganders with disabilities.

Executive Order 2015-15, establishes Employment First in Michigan and helps foster an inclusive environment that will create competitive employment opportunities for working-age individuals. The order aims to improve access to workplace support and services for people with disabilities.

“Employment First encourages workplace diversity and enhances economic development while further designating Michigan as an equal opportunity state,” Calley said. “Michiganders with all abilities deserve to live independent, self-determined lives. The ability to work leads to enhanced social interaction, community involvement and economic independence, and a sense of pride that all people desire.”

The order encourages businesses and organizations to create career opportunities and to foster personal and professional growth for those with a disability that may impact their life and daily activities. It also stresses the importance of information sharing across businesses and organizations that value diverse skill sets.

Under the order, state departments and agencies that provide services and support to people with disabilities, and all state departments that work to provide employment, economic development, or other related services will implement Employment First by coordinating efforts to ensure policies, procedures and funding appropriately support competitive employment opportunities. The State Rehabilitation Council will oversee its implementation.

“We have been working to raise awareness of the value that Michiganders with disabilities can add to the workplace through the MI Hidden Talent Tour,” Calley said. “Employment First takes those efforts to the next level while accomplishing a key recommendation of the Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission.”

Article V, Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign executive orders when the governor is out of state.