Employer Services at the Department of Vocational Service (DVS) is an inclusive staffing resource for businesses in Cumberland and York counties. Through a partnership with the Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, services are provided at no cost to the employer. Our services focus on building relationships with employers to ultimately provide them with high quality employment matches that benefit both the employer and the job seeker. Consider utilizing DVS to boost your inclusive hiring efforts.
Susan Gatti is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who has lived and worked in the Greater Portland area for over 30 years. Susan’s career path has provided her with first-hand experience in, and knowledge of, the Maine labor market including, direct experience working with corporations, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. She has personally established and maintained several small businesses and held management positions in the manufacturing and insurance industries. Prior to her current role as an Employer Relations Specialist, Susan’s work included compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a Return to Work Coordinator and Reassignment Specialist and working as an Employment Specialist to assist people with disabilities obtain and sustain employment.
Chris Hynes is the Employer Relations Specialist for York County. He recently graduated with an MBA from the University of Vermont’s Sustainable Innovation program, where he specialized in social sustainability with a major focus on inclusive hiring practices. Previous to the receiving his MBA, Chris was an AmeriCorps VISTA, where he ran a children and families program at Emmaus Inc., a homeless shelter in Haverhill, MA.
Jennifer N. Kimble, M.S., CRC is the Director of Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services. Jennifer holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and has worked in the field of supported employment since 1996. After working for several years in Boston, Jennifer returned to Maine in 2002, working as an Employment Specialist at MMC's Department of Vocational Services. She transitioned to Operations Manager in 2003, and to Director in 2017, overseeing local programming in addition to contracts with state and federal agencies. Jennifer is the current Chair of the Maine State Workforce Board’s Commission on Disability and Employment and represents Northern New England on the board of the National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists.
Employer Services at Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services is focused on providing services to employers than go deeper than just a candidate. The additional services available for employers are:
- Identify and refer high quality job candidates to employers.
- Support both employer and employee during on-boarding, training, and post-placement.
- Help employers create an inclusive workforce that is good for business.
- Provide various disability inclusion trainings and educational opportunities for leaders, managers, and employees.
- Assist with identifying reasonable accommodations and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Provide resources to companies receiving government contracts in complying with OFCCP’s Section 503.
There are many benefits, both financial and beyond, that come from implementing and executing an inclusive hiring strategy. A disability inclusion program (DI) will benefit a company’s bottom line. It can also foster a positive culture and will encourage employees to bring their best selves to work every day. Studies have shown that many businesses that have mobilized a DI hiring strategy report an increased profit margin; Companies can expect the same or better business results in terms of costs, productivity, and output.
- Cost Reduction
- Reduced Turnover: Turnover can be reduced by 20-30% compared to other labor pools; when costs associated with turnover are decreased, productivity and efficiency benefit.
- Recruiting/HR Costs: By using state funded community organizations and resources (such as DVS), companies can reduce their costs for recruiting and ensure a pipeline of qualified, vetted, and supported job candidates.
- Improved Market Share
- People with disabilities represent a large portion of the consumer market. This market share grows if family members, caregiver, friends, and other connections to a person with a disability are taken into account; increased awareness can help boost sales and revenue.
- Tax Credits & Incentives
- Companies may be eligible for Work Opportunities Tax Credits (WOTC). They can also use state and local resources to access low-cost/free training programs.
Beyond Financial Benefits
- Enhanced Reputation
- Increased awareness by stakeholders and consumers can build brand loyalty and ultimately create a competitive advantage in the market.
- Increased Innovation
- Everyday people with disabilities have to be creative in order to adapt to the world around them. This has helped them develop strengths in problem solving, persistence, agility, etc. All of these skills can help boost innovation internal to the company that hired them.
For support related to a specific employee associated with Maine Medical Center’s, Department of Vocational Services, contact the individual’s Employment Specialist or Job Coach.
For information about assistance with recruiting additional qualified job seekers or to learn more about Employer Services at DVS, please contact Employer Relations – contact information provided at bottom of this page.
- EARN – Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (askearn.org) - Provides information and resources specific to Employers in supporting employment of people with disabilities.
- JAN - Job Accommodation Network (askjan.org) - On-line resource for employers and employees regarding job accommodations.
- Dial 211 or online at 211maine.org - Free confidential information and 24/7 referral service connecting people to services related to challenges such as housing, finance, & crisis management.
- Framework Websites - US Department of Labor – Office of Disability Employment
- The Business Case
- Additional Websites