From the Governor’s Office: “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order to establish the Employment First Commission, tasked with creating an Employment First policy for New York, which makes competitive, integrated employment the first option when considering supports and services for people with disabilities. The initiative aims to increase the employment rate, and decrease the poverty rate, for New Yorkers who are receiving services from the State, as well as register 100 businesses as having formal policies to hire people with disabilities as part of their workforce strategy.
“Equality and inclusiveness play a central role in the history of New York State, and today we are continuing that legacy by standing up for the employment needs of people with disabilities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This Executive Order relays what we stand for as New Yorkers—it will help provide fair opportunities to all people, and I am proud to move our state forward by signing it.”
The Employment First policy is part of a national movement to support the employment of people with disabilities. The employment rate for a New Yorker with a disability aged 18-64 is 31.2% compared to 72% for a person without a disability, resulting in a gap of 40.8 percentage points. In addition, the poverty rate for New Yorkers with disabilities aged 18-64 living in the community is 28.6%, which is more than twice that of people in New York State without disabilities 12.3%. The Governor has set a tentative goal of a 5% increase in the employment rate and a 5% decrease in the poverty rate among this population. The Executive Order can be viewed HERE.”