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November 10, 2011

Increasing ROI by Making the Pledge: Think Beyond the Label

Placing high value on diversity in the workplace is an undeniable best practice in any company.  Most businesses know that tax credits exist – both federal and state – for companies who hire people with disabilities.  Until recently, however, it was a challenge to determine the monetary value of those tax incentives.  An online resource, called Hire Gauge, was launched in September in an effort to show the true incentive in hiring people with disabilities.

Think Beyond the Label is a public-private partnership that advocates to increase employment for people with disabilities.  Users launch the free tool from their site and input their state and basic company information.  Based on answers to a short questionnaire, businesses can quickly see the aggregate tax credits and incentives they could receive for each new hire with a disability.

Consider this example company with more than 30 employees in the California IT industry (more than $1 million in revenue annually): Federal Worker Opportunities Credit, Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction, savings of hiring through a vocational rehabilitation program, and credit for hiring a veteran with a service-connected disability (VA reimbursement).  The company is eligible for about $49,300 in total savings.  That figure is almost enough to pay the employee’s first year salary ($60,000).  If you”re concerned about the cost of making accommodations, research shows you shouldn”t be.  Over half of all accommodations cost less than $500 to implement, and most are no-cost.

When the questionnaire is completed, you can share your results on Twitter, Facebook, or by email to spread the word.  There are also informative state-specific links for more information.  The biggest benefit to this resource is seeing all of the numbers added up together.  Users can also find resources such as best practices for sourcing qualified workers and a tax incentives tip sheet.

Join me, and make the pledge to think beyond the label.



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