Did you know that 15.6% of Oklahoman’s—almost 1 in 6—have a disability (according to data from the American Community Survey/Census)? In 2015, only 24.5% of Oklahoman’s age 16 and over with disabilities were employed, compared to 66.9% of persons without disabilities. With the workforce shortage we are all currently facing, all companies should be looking at ways to change this statistic.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with Lisa Toth, Chris Miller and Brenda Lundy from RISE Staffing and I wanted to share their story. Yes, that’s right I’m sharing with you all a story about a staffing agency that I’m not associated with in any way. What they do to help provide vocational equity to Oklahoman’s is THAT important.

The folks at RISE Staffing have been helping Oklahoman’s with intellectual and developmental disabilities overcome barriers to employment for the past 15 years. They place highly motivated individuals in part-time and full-time positions around Tulsa. RISE teaches their clients everything from fine motor skill enhancement to interviewing tips to help them get ready for work. RISE also provides job coaches to help the job seeker identify personal interests to help create and then find a job tailor-made for them.

How can you help? RISE is looking for companies in the Tulsa area to partner with to make more placements.  RISE can help you reduce recruitment costs (their services are provided at no charge); diversify your workforce and help you receive tax credits. They even do much the leg work for you-they’ll request and arrange for job accommodations such as adaptive computers or augmentative communication devices.

Still not convinced? Take it from a happy customer. Steven has been volunteering at Hillcrest for the last 15 years. He serves as their “Chief Direction Giver”. Steven is responsible for helping people find their way throughout the hospital and one of the hospital vendors has this to say about Steven. “His knowledge of every square inch in that hospital is mind blowing impressive as is his willingness to help. My co-workers and I always say we wish we could clone Steven because every hospital needs him!”

Steven is hoping to be hired by an employer who appreciates his talent and value. He’s ready to take on a new challenge in Tulsa to earn wages and be more self-sufficient. 

Want to learn more? I’m happy to introduce you to Lisa, Chris & Brenda or you can reach them directly.