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Event looks to help disabled workers

The Briggs Library in Ironton was the site of an in-demand careers panel where people with disabilities could meet with representatives from local businesses on Tuesday.

Among the businesses were WesBanco, Vertiv, G&J Pepsi Cola Bottlers, Mended Reeds and the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization. They explained what their respective businesses did and the job opportunities that were available.

While the businesses are all different, they all agreed on what they were looking in an employee, no matter what the job entails.

Reliability is a big aspect, with employees expected to show up on time and being there to do the job, not just put in the hours.

“I think attitude is hugely important,” said Dan Mooney, regional vice president and commercial banker with WesBanco. “We are going to see if the person is personable with customers and with their fellow employees.”

David Lambert, the CEO of Mended Reeds, said they hire people with disabilities since they have some clients who have disabilities.

“We have found it very valuable to recognize people with certain skill sets and strengths,” he said. “While they may have some shortcomings they are overcoming, often, it really makes them strive to excel in other areas.”

Lauren Ball, of Ironton, was there since she has an interest in helping others.

“I wanted to find out more about the employers around the area because I am looking for a job,” she said. “I’m interested in psychology, counseling or social work, something in that area.”

She graduated from Ohio University Southern last year.

Ball spent time speaking with reps from Mended Reeds about job opportunities.

“I’ve always been interested in human behavior and why people do what they do,” she said. “I love to be able to help people overcome the different things they are going through.”

Kim Jump, chief of communications with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, said the event is all about in-demand jobs that are available locally.

“Particularly with employers that we know are inclusive and are willing to hire employees with disabilities,” she said. “The idea is to link our job seekers with employers that are good partners.”

She said the job seekers have disabilities that span the spectrum.

“Some are less challenging and pose less barriers than others, some would only require, maybe, minor accommodation where others would need more support from our agency and accommodations in the workplace,” Jump said. “What we are trying to find is a place that is a good fit.”

The Lawrence County event was part of the State of Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs Week.