Businesses recognized for supporting workers with disabilities

Local News

TOMAH, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Department of Workforce Development says people with disabilities may help turn around Wisconsin’s labor issues.

First News at Nine’s Alex Loroff shares how two businesses are following that lead.

A pair of Tomah employers are at the forefront of providing opportunities for workers with disabilities.

Taphouse Twenty and Arena Products were presented with Exemplary Awards Tuesday as part of Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Amy Pechacek with the Department of Workforce Development believes employers who are having labor issues shouldn’t overlook those who have disabilities.

“We know that folks that have varying abilities want to work, they can work, and it’s just a great success story,” Pechacek said. “We’re just so proud of the work that Arena, and all of the other employers in our state that are embracing the varying-abled individuals who may need an accommodation and bringing them on board.”

Employers connect with the unique talent pool through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), which at any given time has roughly 16,000 individuals ready to work.

“We find the talent, we connect the programs with the job seekers, with the employers, so we’re here to help,” Pechacek detailed. “I’m just really hoping that other employers can follow suit and embrace these programs, because they’re doing amazing things.”

Anthony Springer is one of the people who was able to secure a job with the help of the DVR, working at Taphouse Twenty.

Owner Tyson Kobut is happy with the work Springer has done, saying his training and work ethic have made him a valued member of the staff.

“It was refreshing to be able to coach him, to mentor him, and teach him a skill and a trait and let him personally develop himself,” Kobut expressed. “Also, it’s personal development for us as well.”

Kobut says he’d be happy to bring on additional workers through the DVR, adding that candidates are being interviewed right now for a possible fit.

In Tomah, Alex Loroff, First News at Nine.

This year’s disability employment awareness month focuses on ensuring people with disabilities have full access to employment as we recover from the pandemic.

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