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Disability Conference Held in State College

By: Lauren Hensley

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.-- Savory sweets, safety gear and even support staff for Pennsylvania State police; these are just some of the goods and services showcased at a conference in State College. But what makes these companies unique is that they all employee people with disabilities.

While there are a lot of people suffering with unemployment over the last few years, unfortunately the disabled individuals have twice the unemployment rate as others in Pennsylvania, Vince Loose CEO oF Uniquesource said.

Loose said a lot of times employers believe the classification "disabled" means the potential employee lacks the skills necessary to get a job done. However, he said this is not true. One employer in Cambria County knows just how skilled this population can be.  Roughly 300 Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped workers make Pennsylvania Department of Transportation safety vests.

 It is gratifying to do something like that and produce a product that is useful. It is not something that is wasted and it is not just something you do to make work for people.  It is actually a product that is viable, Douglas Hughes with the Cambria Co. Association for the Blind and Handicapped said.

Decedent treats and chocolates made by Highland Chocolates is another employee that hires those deemed disabled.

It is very enjoyable they want to come to work, they come to work every day and they are the best employees to have and they just do a wonderful job, Lacey Kennedy with Highland Chocolates said.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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