CSG Policy Academy: Hiring and Retaining Workers with Disabilities

Thursday, Dec. 14

CSG Policy Academy: Hiring and Retaining Workers with Disabilities

This full-day event will cover innovative state practices on hiring and retaining workers with disabilities, including how the state can be a model employer, how to engage and support the business community and best practices on providing employment supports for people with disabilities. The policy academy will include success stories from Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada and Oregon on the policies and practices of states that lead to higher labor market engagement by people with disabilities. 

Download a PDF of the agenda.

PANEL 1: Welcome

  • Michael Murray, Supervisory Policy Advisor, Employment & Workplace Policy, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Nadia Ibrahim,Senior Policy Advisor & Federal Lead on the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED), Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor

PANEL 2: Kentucky Task Force: Successes and Lessons Learned

  • Moderator: Adam Meier, Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor Matt Bevin, Kentucky
  • Sen. Robin Webb,Kentucky, District 18, Grayson
  • Commissioner Beth Kuhn, Cabinet on Education and Workforce Investment, Kentucky
  • Secretary John Tilley, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Kentucky

PANEL 3: Return to Work/Stay at Work State Policies

  • Moderator: Richard Davis, Policy Advisor, Workforce Systems Policy Team, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Leah Hole-Marshall, JD, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
  • Rob Brazell, Executive Director, Project Return to Work
  • Cesar Melgarejo, Veterans Policy Analyst, Office of Governor Brian Sandoval, Nevada
  • Frank Neuhauser, MPP, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, University of California, Berkeley

Run Your Life: April Holmes

Inspirational Speaker, Best-selling Author of, "The Winning Way" 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist

PANEL 4: Lunch and Employer Panel

  • Moderator: Rep. Helene Keeley, State of Delaware, District 3, Wilmington
  • Mike Michalak, Employer, Little Caesar’s Pizza Franchisee, Louisville, KY
  • Katherine Caldwell, Assistant Professor, Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago and CEED (Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities)
  • Ken Pierson, Business Development Manager, Nevada Department of Employment, Training, Rehabilitation
  • Kathy Burris, CVS Health, Office of Workforce Initiatives

Group Discussion: Overcoming Obstacles in Your State

PANEL 5: Work Matters National Highlights
Legislative and Executive Action (what state leaders have done based on the Work Matters report and the National Task Force)

  • Moderator: Dr. Aaron Bangor, Chair, Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, State of Texas
  • Assemblyman Michael C. Sprinkle, Nevada, District 30, Washoe County
  • Shelley Hendren, Administrator for the Rehabilitation Division of Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation
  • David D’Arcangelo, Director, Office on Disability, Governor Charlie Baker, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Toby Olson, Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, Washington State Employment Security Department

PANEL 6: Apprenticeships for People with Disabilities

  • Mylene Padolina,MPadolina & Associates LLC
  • Cheryl Roe, Director of Programs, Skills Inc.
  • Felicia Fleitman, Founder of Savvy Hires



Speaker Biographies

Hiring and Retaining Workers with Disabilities Policy Academy

Aaron W. Bangor
Lead Accessible Technology Architect & Director, Accessibility Solutions Engineer, AT&T
Bangor currently serves as chair of the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and chair of the Central Texas Business Leadership Network.  He is also a Certified Human Factors Professional, Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies, and holds over 30 US patents. He represents AT&T on the U. S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 159 and subcommittees 1 and 4; is U.S. expert for two ISO working groups; and is active in the area of standards development, including national and international standards for accessibility.

Rob Brazell
Chief Executive Officer, Return To Work Inc.

Brazzell founded Project: Return To Work Inc., or R2W, in 1998 after battling a terminal illness. Brazzell is a tireless advocate for vocational rehabilitation programs. He frequently travels to civilian and military events where he gives motivational speeches and introduces R2W’s services to wounded warriors, disabled civilians and their families. R2W has helped thousands over the decades and currently has about 8,500 clients nationwide, including veterans transitioning from incarceration to model citizens. R2W also performs R&D and is currently conducting scientific tests to determine the effects of alternative medicines on employment. He has earned several prestigious awards for his philanthropic work, including the Seven Seals Award from the Department of Defense and a Gold Medal from President Barack Obama.

Katherine Caldwell
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Disability & Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago

Caldwell is a nationally recognized expert in the field of disability and entrepreneurship. Currently working on the intersection of race, class and gender in disability-entrepreneurship, she participated in Entrepreneurship Solutions Seminar at the 2016 White House Summit on the United State of Women, and the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy State Exchange on Employment & Disability initiative, along with The Council of State Governments, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

David D’Arcangelo
Director, Massachusetts Office on Disability

D’Arcangelo has created several initiatives aimed at increasing access and opportunities for persons with disabilities throughout the Massachusetts. He established MOD’s annual Disability Summit that brings together leaders, decision-makers and advocates to discuss issues such as accessibility and employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. D’Arcangelo has greatly increased the transparency of the agency and has built several partnerships between MOD and the greater disability community. D’Arcangelo is a 1996 graduate of Suffolk University, where he subsequently served as an adjunct faculty member in the Communications and Journalism Department.

Richard Davis
Policy Advisor, Workforce Systems Policy Team, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy

Davis works across government agencies to align policy in support of competitive, integrated employment. He has primary responsibility for a number of federal policy initiatives focused specifically on promoting the employment and socioeconomic advancement of youth and adults with disabilities, including the department’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program and State Exchange on Employment & Disability Stay-At-Work/Return-To-Work initiatives. Prior to ODEP, Richard was the director of public policy for The Arc Maryland, where he wrote and delivered testimony, and worked in partnership with several coalitions of Disability Rights advocates and organizations to successfully pass legislation during the 2014 and 2015 state legislative sessions. Richard was the 2013 Disability Policy Leadership Fellow for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Felicia Fleitman
Founder of Savvy Hires

Savvy Hires also helps companies create inclusive hiring processes for professionals on the autism spectrum. Additionally, Fleitman is the co-executive director of recruitLI, a non-profit dedicated to supporting economic growth on Long Island by taking a regional approach to workforce development through high school outreach, employer programming, and apprenticeships. Fleitman is also an adjunct professor of experiential education at LIM College. Prior to starting Savvy Hires, Fleitman was the director of recruiting at NTT Data, the sixth largest IT company in the world. She also placed c-level executives into high growth food and beverage companies and ran strategic internship programs for global law firms.

Shelley Hendren
Administrator of Nevada’s Rehabilitation Division, Department of Employment

As the Administrator of the Rehabilitation Division, Hendren oversees Nevada’s vocational rehabilitation and blind enterprise programs which assist individuals with disabilities to remove barriers to competitive, integrated employment and self-sufficiency. Hendren also oversees Nevada’s Bureau of Disability Adjudication, which determines medical eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits claims. Hendren was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to the Governor’s Workforce Development Board with the mission to bring Nevada businesses and workers together to shape strategies that best meet workforce needs in order to foster a healthy and growing economy in the state. She was also appointed to the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Leah Hole-Marshall
Medical administrator, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

Hole-Marshall oversees the office responsible for creating, stakeholdering, implementing, updating, disseminating and enforcing medical policy to ensure high quality health care for injured workers in Washington state. Previously, she directed Washington’s Health Technology Assessment program, created in 2006. From 2001 to 2006, Hole-Marshall provided regulatory consulting and project management to state Medicaid agencies and the federal Department of Health and Human Services (Medicaid, Office of HIPAA Standards, Office for Civil Rights) as a consultant with Fox Systems Inc.

Delaware Rep. Helene Keeley
Keeley has represented the 3rd District since 1996. She currently serves as the chair of the Revenue & Finance Committee and vice-chair of the Gaming & Pari-mutuels Committee. Keeley has worked as a community relations coordinator with the Delaware Department of Labor and was a project manager with Rosenbluth International. She currently serves as co-chair for the CSG Fiscal and Economic Development Public Policy Committee and as co-chair of the CSG Shared State Legislation Committee.

Beth Kuhn
Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment

Kuhn has been collaborating with many partners in a system of Kentucky Career Centers providing workforce services to employer and individual customers. Prior to her appointment as commissioner in December of 2014, Kuhn served as sector strategies director, assisting with the design and implementation of collaborative sector-based approaches to workforce and economic development.  She previously served as director of workforce development at the Vermont Department of Labor; as project director at the United Way of Chittenden County; and as vice president of WFD Inc., a consulting firm specializing in innovative employee benefits and public-private partnerships.

Adam Meier
Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

Meier was appointed December 2015 and focuses on oversight of policy advising, formation, coordination and implementation to move Gov. Bevin’s agenda forward. Meier is an attorney and previously served as a policy and political adviser for Bevin’s gubernatorial campaign. In addition to state-level experience, Meier has public service experience working as senior contracting officer for the federal government, as well as serving as a member of the Fort Thomas City Council.

Cesar Melgarejo
Veterans Policy Analyst, Office of Governor Brian Sandoval

Melgarejo’s responsible for establishing the Governor’s veteran and military legislative portfolio, developing policy recommendations through public engagement, research of national best practices, data analysis, and policy councils. Prior to joining the governor’s staff, Melgarejo served as a Program Administrator with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development assisting and educating Nevada’s small businesses on state and local government contracting and contracting opportunities. He previously worked as an Outreach Specialist with the local VA Hospital, where he provided transition assistance services and outreach services to veterans, active military, reserve, and National Guard members. Melgarejo is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Melgarejo graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a Masters of Public Administration.

Mike Michalak
President of MIPENICO

Michalak operates 15 Little Caesar’s restaurants that employ 400 employees. He has been married to His wife Penny for 30 years. They have 16 children, including 10 by adoption. Several of their adopted children have special needs, including three with Down Syndrome. Michalak and Penny also founded Angels in Disguise in 2009. It is a nonprofit charity that advocates for individuals with Down Syndrome. The charity has helped families adopt more than 60 children with Down Syndrome. They also founded Immaculata Classical Academy in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a private inclusive school for those with Down Syndrome as well as their peers.

Frank Neuhauser
University of California, Berkeley

Neuhauser’s work has focused on disability insurance and other social insurance programs, judicial processes, and medical delivery. He has worked on long­term forecasting models for state revenue and expenditures. More recently Neuhauser has worked extensively on workers' compensation, occupational injuries, non-occupational disability and the cost of occupational medical treatment. His research has made extensive use of all of major databases available on workers' compensation claims and short and medium-term disability insurance, large national surveys covering health, disability, and retirement. Neuhauser regularly testifies before state legislatures, agencies and regulatory commissions.

Toby Olson
Executive Secretary, Washington State Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment

Olson has written or co-written more than forty laws improving opportunities for people with disabilities in civil rights, health care, education, transportation, housing, and employment. His program and policy innovations have won more than $15 million in competitive national grants. He has served on three research oversight panels for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and on the task force that developed the disability questions used in the American Community Survey, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. He chaired the International Code Council’s Disability Access Committee, the National Fire Protection Association’s Disability Access Review Advisory Committee, and was vice chair of American Public Transportation Association’s Access Standards Oversight Committee.

Mylene B. Padolina
Founder and Principal, Consultant of MPadolina & Associates LLC

Padolina has over 25 years of experience in human resources, diversity and inclusion, community relations, program management, leadership development and coaching. Prior to consulting work, Padolina was a senior diversity outreach manager with Microsoft Corporation. She developed Microsoft’s programs to recruit, hire and accommodate people with disabilities, including service-disabled veterans, which have received national recognition, including awards from the Department of Health and Human Services, Disability Rights Advocates, Information Technology Association of America and the Governor’s Committees in Washington, California and Texas.

Ken Pierson
Business Development Manager, Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation

Pierson oversees the unit’s business development team that connects employers with reliable and qualified employees who can help drive business success. Prior to joining the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Pierson worked in economic development for over nine years at Nevada governor’s office of economic development as the deputy director and at a regional development authority, The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. Pierson started his career in the real estate business after graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno. Pierson has owned and operated many businesses including a national candy retail chain, property management company and a computer learning center.

Cheryl Roe
Roe has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years. She joined Skills Inc. in 1998. Skills is a self-supporting social enterprise organized as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit with four lines of business primarily in aerospace. Skills mission is to train, employ and serve persons with disabilities through direct hire, vocational programs and as a resource to and for other employers and community partners. Skills has 600 employees and provides vocational pathways to over 250 people with disabilities annually through a variety of methodologies including work based learning, internships, industry centric training, and mentorship. Roe has been instrumental in the development and implementation of key initiatives to increase the organizations’ recruitment, hiring and retention of people with disabilities.

Nevada Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle
Sprinkle began his legislative career in 2013 and has risen to become chairman of the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services. Sprinkle also is chairman of the Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Human Services and is the Assembly majority whip. Sprinkle authored legislation allowing all in the state to buy into Nevada’s Medicaid system. He also has worked diligently on the opioid crisis affecting Nevada as well as the nation and on determination of death guidelines.  Away from the Legislature, Sprinkle has worked as a firefighter/paramedic for over 23 years. 

Kentucky state Sen. Robin Webb
Webb has been a member of the Kentucky State Senate since 2009. She previously served in the House of Representatives for 10 years, where she was vice-chair of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee and served on all House Budget Subcommittees.
During her tenure in the House, Webb helped negotiate the Tobacco Settlement Money Distribution in 2000 and she co-sponsored and was a conferee on the “Litter Bill” in 2002. In 2013, she co-sponsored the Hemp Bill and the Human Trafficking Bill. Webb serves on several Senate committees: Agriculture, Appropriations and Revenue, Judiciary, Natural Resources and Energy, as well as the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee, Special Subcommittee on Energy, and Subcommittee on Horse Farming. 



Agenda 2017.pdf767.75 KB