Add Us In Initiative
Add Us In is an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The initiative is designed to identify and develop strategies to increase employment opportunities within the small business community for individuals with disabilities. Included within the small business community are those located in or serving underrepresented and historically excluded communities including those owned and operated by ethnic and racial minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; veterans; women; and people with disabilities.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- Over the past 10 years, minority-owned businesses have grown at approximately double the rate of all firms in the U.S. economy.
- Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
- Small businesses employ half of all private sector employees.
- Small business generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
- According to the Minority Business Development Agency, minority-owned firms generate $1 trillion in economic output to the U.S. economy and create 5.9 million jobs .
- In the United States today, there are approximately 4.1 million minority-owned firms accounting for more than $668 billion total annual gross receipts.
- Between 1997 and 2002 the growth of minority-owned firms outpaced the national rate, as they increased by 30 percent, compared to 10 percent for all classifiable firms.
- The May 2011 employment rate for persons with disabilities age 16 to 64 was 24.3 percent compared to 69.7 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
- According to the American Community Survey (ACS), more than 10 million civilian, non-institutionalized Americans from ethnic and racial minorities have long-lasting disabling conditions or impairments.
- According to the ACS in 2008, among racial and ethnic groups, the highest overall estimated disability rate was for American Indians and Alaska Natives at 18.8 percent. Among Blacks or African Americans, the disability rate was 14.3 percent. Among persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, the disability rate was 8.4 percent. Among Asian Americans, the disability rate was 4.6 percent. Among white Americans, the disability rate was 10.2 percent.
- For people with severe disabilities, the labor force participation rate is about 30 percent for whites, 21.2 percent for Latinos or Hispanics, and 17.8 percent for Blacks or African Americans.
In 2010, in response to the growth of small businesses, including those in underrepresented and historically excluded communities, ODEP sponsored Add Us In. Through this initiative, eight consortia are working to identify and develop strategies for connecting small businesses with untapped talent - people with disabilities. Consortium members include representatives from businesses located in or serving underrepresented and historically excluded communities, including businesses that are owned and operated by racial and ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; women; veterans; and people with disabilities.
The consortia are charged with identifying and creating successful, replicable business engagement models that small businesses in different industries can adopt to shift the paradigm of workplace diversity to be inclusive of people with disabilities. Related to this is the companion goal of developing sustainable partnerships among small businesses, diversity-serving organizations, youth-serving organizations and disability-serving organizations, and identification of national and local networks of experts skilled in simultaneously meeting the employment needs of individuals with disabilities and the hiring needs of small business owners.