Everyone at Work, a national nonprofit seeking to connect employers with ready and able workers with disabilities who are currently out of the workforce, announced today its inaugural event will be held Aug. 13-15 in partnership with the Harkin Institute at Drake University.

“Iowa makes perfect sense for our inaugural event,” said Everyone at Work founder and President Kyle Duarte. “Iowa has achieved the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, which is amazing, but this also means many employers are in desperate need of new workers to fill current vacancies and to continue to expand and grow. Connecting them with the deaf and other disability communities where unemployment currently exceeds 50% just makes good sense.”

The three-day event will include a visit to the Iowa State Fair to learn about current industry trends in the state and an innovative session on design thinking to help those looking to rejoin the workforce become comfortable with new skills and opportunities. The event will conclude with a job fair so companies looking to hire can meet these potential new employees in a comfortable setting.

"We're always looking for new ways to expand the Iowa workforce and foster economic growth," said Mike Ralston, president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry. "Companies throughout Iowa will benefit from learning more about how to integrate people with disabilities into their corporate families."

State Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa of Council Bluffs said, "With the rich history of Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, I know how important it is for deaf Iowans and Iowans with disabilities to have access to meaningful jobs. Removing barriers and welcoming all Iowans into the workforce is good for everyone.”

Individuals who would like to attend the event can register here. Participation is free for deaf or hard-of-hearing Iowans, ages 16 and up. The sessions will be presented in both American Sign Language and English.

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry and the Greater Des Moines Partnership have already signed on as sponsors for this event. Companies looking to join them as sponsors and to participate in the job fair should contact Kyle Duarte at 202-525-6803 or kyle@everyoneatwork.com for more information.