Youngkin Announces Alternative Hiring Process for People with Disabilities

Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced an alternative hiring process for people with disabilities; Youngkin’s Tuesday announcement said the process change reflects Virginia’s priorities for its workforce.

“This process is only the beginning of our strategy to demonstrate our commitment to individuals with differing abilities to improve the state workforce,” Secretary of Administration Margaret “Lyn” McDermid said. “It is one facet of a more comprehensive strategy, which includes accommodations, communication, education and awareness, compliance, and retention of individuals with differing abilities.”

“Approved applicants may receive priority consideration during the recruitment process. Agencies are strongly encouraged to provide a six-month provisional period to these new hires to ensure accommodation needs are met and employees are set up for success,” the press release states.

In 2021 the General Assembly passed Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s (D-Prince William) HB 2140 requiring the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) to create such an alternative process.

“My administration fully supports expanded economic and job opportunities for individuals living with disabilities. This is a significant step in the Commonwealth’s commitment to the overall goal of increasing employment opportunities for all Virginians,” Youngkin said in the release.

Applicants with documented disabilities should apply at and upload their Certificate of Disability, which they can request from the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) or by calling 800-552-5019. For video phone sign language, call 804-325-1316.

A $9.2 million federal grant called “Pathways to Careers using Partnerships, Apprenticeships and Equity” will provide training and apprenticeships for Virginians with disabilities.

DARS Commissioner Kathy Hayfield said, “This policy opens doors for job applicants with disabilities to seek state employment, paving the way for new career paths. DARS’ collaboration with DHRM is essential to its success in assisting those who are underrepresented in the state workforce.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].

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