Published October 24 2018
The City of Bellevue has received the Governor’s 2018 Public Employer of the Year award for its Supported Employment program, which employs individuals living with cognitive disabilities. Through the program, the city employs eight people in six departments.
Bellevue was honored on Oct. 17 at a ceremony with Gov. Jay Inslee and five other public and private employers recognized for exemplary work recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting people with disabilities. The Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment selected the six winners from 22 employers that were nominated.
In 2016, as part of an initiative to broaden recruitment, the Human Resources Department and the Diversity Advantage team in the City Manager’s Office launched the Supported Employment program. A citywide, cross-departmental team provides ongoing support for the program. The city onboarded its first supported employee that year.
Supported employment positions have been customized to highlight job candidates’ skills, while meeting the city’s business needs and adding efficiency. Examples of work performed by employees under this program include data entry, scanning documents, filing and greeting customers.
Bellevue is a diverse community, racially, culturally and in other ways. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8.2 percent of Bellevue’s population have disabilities.
The Supported Employment program supports the City Council’s vision, “Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength,” by advancing recruitment of people who reflect Bellevue’s demographics and promoting employment opportunities for individuals with barriers to working such as ability, age and language.
For additional information about Bellevue’s Supported Employment program, please contact Kristin Headlee, talent acquisition and staff analyst, at 425-452-7676.