Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training



Job Fair Celebrates Disability Employment Month

    October 24, 2007

WARWICK—In celebration of National Disability Employment Month, Rhodes to Independence and netWORKri One-Stop Career Centers will host their third annual Autumn Job Fair from 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at The Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel and Conference Center, 1850 Post Road, Warwick.

The fair provides a supportive environment for all jobseekers to network, explore career opportunities and apply for current job openings. More than 25 employers are expected to attend the event. A number of community-based and faith-based organizations will also be on hand to discuss available support services, while several educational vendors will provide information on available training programs.

According to 2000 U.S. Census data, one out of five members of the civilian non-institutionalized population age five years and older is classified as having some type of disability. These can encompass physical, mental and developmental disabilities, and include the effects of chronic illnesses, according to Elaina Goldstein, director of the University of Rhode Island-based Rhodes to Independence initiative. With a tagline of “Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives,” the federally-funded Rhodes to Independence initiative supports the competitive employment of people with disabilities by combating inaccurate public and employer perceptions. Goldstein adds, “Because of technology today, every individual can contribute in a meaningful way to the workplace.”

Adelita Orefice, director of the RI Dept. of Labor and Training which manages the netWORKri one-stop career centers, says of this collaborative event, “Rhodes to Independence is an ideal partner for the netWORKri career centers because both organizations strive to tap human potential for the betterment of the state's workforce. Rhodes to Independence and netWORKri are dedicated to emphasizing their clients' unique skills while minimizing barriers to employment.”

When jobseekers self-identify as having a disability, netWORKri staff members often connect these clients with other helpful services in the community. Vincent Rossi, coordinator of the Disability Navigator Project at netWORKri, explains that he frequently works with clients to create individualized action plans. “The plan may include referrals to assessment and training services, social service agencies or educational opportunities,” Rossi says.

For more information on the Autumn Job Fair, contact netWORKri at 888-616-JOBS or 401-462-8006 (TDD).

NetWORKri One-Stop Career Centers are located throughout Rhode Island and offer employment services to both job seekers and area employers. The centers are managed and operated by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, a netWORKri partner. Other netWORKri partners include Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston; the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island; the RI Dept. of Education; the RI Dept. of Human Services; the RI Dept. of Elderly Affairs; the RI Dept. of Children, Youth and Families; the RI Dept. of Corrections; the Office of Rehabilitation Services; Goodwill Industries; and SER-Jobs for Progress.