Hire Me SC — a statewide workforce development campaign to increase employment outcomes for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities — has launched a free online resource for families of people with disabilities.

The employment gap between those with disabilities in South Carolina compared to those without is 42.2 percent, and this new initiative aims to close this gap by encouraging families to empower their loved ones to meet their employment goals.

“It can be difficult for families to know where to start and what employment decisions their loved ones should make without overstepping boundaries or interfering with their independence,” said Kimberly Tissot, president and chief executive officer of Able South Carolina. “The resources available through Hire Me SC help build confidence in family members so they can empower, support and be an advocate for their loved ones as they decide what kind of employment is right for them.”

Hire Me SC, powered by Able SC and the South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, is committed to educating family members of individuals with disabilities looking to enter the workforce, fostering connections with other families and encouraging individuals to share stories about their employment journey. As a way to achieve this commitment, Hire Me SC launched this new online resource to serve as a hub of employment information, including external resources, tips for families, empowering success stories and more. These resources can be found at hiremesc.org/families.

The family resources were developed with empowerment at top of mind, and a focus on families being strong advocates for their relative with a disability.

“Family often plays a significant role in the employment decisions made by a person with a disability, but a lack of knowledge and support can lead to family members compromising the freedom the individual has to make their own employment decisions,” said Tissot.

Now in its fifth year, the Hire Me SC campaign drives job seekers with disabilities, service providers, educators, employers and family members to the Hire Me SC website, hiremesc.org, where they can find vital information, job training programs and other resources to help navigate the hiring process.

Learn more about Hire Me SC by visiting hiremesc.org, calling 800-681-7715, or e-mailing [email protected]

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