“Hire Me SC” Campaign Looks to Improve Lowcountry Disability Employment

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

South Carolina’s unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is one of the highest in the country — leaving out a largely untapped, capable pool of talent for businesses across a diverse range of industries.

In response, a statewide coalition of government, nonprofit and other entities created Hire Me SC, an outreach campaign to increase the independence of individuals with disabilities and shift the current landscape in South Carolina to one of employment for every individual, disability or not, is the norm rather than the exception.

Currently in its second year, the campaign drives job seekers with disabilities, service providers, educators and employers to the Hire Me SC website, http://www.hiremesc.org, where they can find vital information, job training programs and other resources to help navigate the hiring process.

“There is a remarkable workforce in the Lowcountry ready to be hired,” says Kimberly Tissot, executive director of Able South Carolina. “In many cases, even the simplest accommodation on the side of the employer will open up a door they never knew existed.”

Hire Me SC advocates for a successful, inclusive employment model for everyone within a community, bridging the existing employment gap through the following means:

Educate the general community on current barriers to employment.

Connect individuals with disabilities, employers, service providers and educators with the resources and services most valuable to them.

Provide a platform for the general public to advocate for policy change.

Host numerous awareness events (workshops and summits) throughout the year.

“Our message is simple,” says Tissot. “Individuals with disabilities deserve a chance at jobs where they are paid minimum wage or higher, at a comparable rate to coworkers without disabilities. Tapping into this unexposed workforce as an employer can and will help your business and community thrive.”