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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: July 15, 2012


WHAT: Signing of Delaware House Bill 319, which creates the Employment First Act and the Employment First Oversight Commission. The Act requires that state agencies providing services to people with disabilities consider competitive employment for those individuals. The Employment First Oversight Commission will review measurable goals and objectives to ensure proper implementation of the Act. The Governor will be joined by Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, State Representative Debra Heffernan, bill sponsors and members and advocates from the disability community. The bill signing will be the first public event in Delaware since Gov. Markell was named chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA) and his yearlong initiative as chair, "A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities" was announced Sunday at the NGA summer meeting in Williamsburg, Va. The Governor's initiative aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities by focusing on the role that both state government and business can play in facilitating and advancing opportunities for individuals to be employed in the competitive labor market. During the year, Gov. Markell plans to bring together governors, business leaders, disability advocates and other thought leaders to share ideas and move forward with support for this population. "There are major employers in every state who recognize the value of creating opportunity," Gov. Markell said.
WHO: Gov. Jack Markell
Rep. Debra Heffernan
Secretary Rita Landgraf, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)
About 300 supporters of the bill, including many individuals who are disabled and many who are employed.
WHEN: July 16, 2012 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Bank of America
1201 Continental Drive
Newark, DE
Note: If you will be using a GPS unit, use 300 Continental Drive, Newark, DE, and follow Continental Drive until you reach the Guard Shack. Upon arrival at the Guard Shack, let the guard know that you are there for the bill signing and the guard will direct you from there

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.