Stone Belt, LIFEDesigns, and Work to Include to hold Job-A-Palooza Employer Town Hall

BLOOMINGTON – People with disabilities are one of the largest minorities in our county. However, they make up a huge proportion of those unemployed. People with disabilities have long been excluded from or underrepresented in the workforce based on low expectations and preconceived notions about their capabilities.

There are more than 18,000 adults with disabilities in South Central Indiana currently unemployed. It is estimated that 2/3rds or more than 12,000 are currently looking to enter or re-enter the workforce. That is a talent that could fill employer openings going empty since the pandemic.

Hiring people with disabilities is good for business, the economy, and company morale. Additionally, the Department of Labor found that employers who embraced disability saw a 90% increase in employee retention. But the value that people with disabilities can bring to the workplace goes far beyond numbers. Individuals with disabilities make excellent employees and in South Central Indiana there are thousands of people with disabilities looking to fill vacancies.

In this time of unprecedented labor shortages, LIFEDesigns, Stone Belt, and Work to Include are holding an Employer Town Hall to identify barriers faced by employers and design solutions to connect with talent with disabilities and the resources that can help promote a truly diverse workforce.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 27 from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. at The Dimension Mill in Bloomington. You can also attend the meeting via Zoom and can register at this link.

This engaging and interactive session is designed to highlight the benefits of hiring talent with disabilities and design a talent pipeline for youth and adults while addressing some of the barriers business faces,  like reasonable accommodations, retention, co-worker training, and accessing tax incentives. Through small group discussion, you will leave with a plan for how your business can succeed, while supporting this important part of your workforce.  

Support for the Town Hall provided by Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, The United Way of Monroe County and The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County

Email Susan Rinne,, Brandi Hamilton, or MaryEllen Jones with questions.