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October 27, 2004

Record Number of College Students with Disabilities Placed in Summer Federal Jobs, U.S. Labor Secretary Chao Announces

From: U.S. Newswire (press release) - Washington,DC,USA - Oct 27, 2004

To: National Desk

Contact: Jane Norris, 202-693-4676, or Michael Volpe, 202-693-4676 ext. 7909, both of the U.S. Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced today that a record 368 college students and recent graduates with disabilities were placed in summer and permanent job openings in the federal government under the department's Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP).

"Each year, WRP gives many students with disabilities the break they need to launch successful careers. They acquire valuable work experience, gain confidence, and make important job connections," Secretary Chao said. "The WRP also fulfills President Bush's New Freedom Initiative pledge to promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the nation."

The 2004 placements increased in part because of a joint memorandum that Secretary Chao and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issued on May 24 urging federal decision makers "to consider the candidates referred through this program for career development opportunities and permanent employment." Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Defense Department manage the WRP.

ODEP Assistant Secretary of Labor Roy Grizzard said: "As a former educator, I find the WRP is an important resource for employers to find an exceptional pool of talented applicants with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workforce."

At 47 placements, Virginia led the nation in the total number of their college students with disabilities placed in employment through WRP, followed by New York (45), Maryland (42), Texas (29), California (27), Washington, D.C. (25), Pennsylvania (20), Florida (17) and Illinois (11). Leading institutions whose students were placed included the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology/NTID (26), Gallaudet (D.C.) University (20), Montgomery (Md.) College (16), George Mason (Va.) University (11) and Tidewater (Va.) Community College (10). Also according to WRP statistics, about 42 percent of the students placed in jobs under the WRP program identified themselves as "minority."

Through WRP's complimentary CD-ROM database, employers were able to search for potential applicants by field of study, state or school, in disciplines ranging from computer sciences and business to communications, engineering and office administration. Searches generated candidate profiles, academic and demographic data and contact information from applications recruited by the program from more than 180 colleges and universities in over 40 states and territories. Each spring, the CD-ROMs and additional information are made available at, or by request from ODEP at 202-693-7880.


U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7765 or TTY 202-693-7755.


/© 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/