Sandoval orders stronger effort to hire the disabled

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval wants state agencies to make more of an effort to include people with disabilities in their hiring efforts.

To that end, he issued an executive order this week directing all state agencies to include persons with disabilities in the preliminary and final groups of candidates considered for employment.

Sandoval’s order is a vehicle to allow people with disabilities greater opportunity to enter the workplace. It will serve as an example for private businesses and other organizations to do the same.

“Every Nevadan who has the desire to go to work should be able to do so without being hindered because of a disability,” Sandoval said. “My administration and (the Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation) have been working on this initiative for some time. As we prepare to celebrate Labor Day and with this order, the state is reaffirming our commitment to providing opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the economic growth of this state and including all Nevadans in workforce development activities.”

Executive orders are official directives issued by the governor mandating certain governmental actions. They have the force of law; however, their scope is limited to certain policy areas.

The Rehabilitation Division of the employment department estimates that one in five people in the U.S. and in Nevada have a disability. The division also estimates that as “baby boomers” age that proportion is likely to increase to one in three.

Nevada has in place a program that offers state agencies a quick and efficient method to fill vacancies with a qualified candidate with a disability. The state also conducts the Preferred Purchase Program which streamlines governmental purchasing by allowing state and local government agencies to bypass the competitive bid process and purchase goods and services from registered community training centers which employ people with disabilities.

Under Sandoval’s executive order, the state will also collect and utilize data regarding employees who have disabilities that up to this point have not been known.

The Americans With Disabilities Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.