Read the Executive Order
Designating North Carolina as an Employment First state for individuals with disabilities in 2019 has had a positive impact on how employees are perceived and supported in state government workplaces, according to several state agency and university employees.
“Our state is strongest when all of us have the opportunity to achieve our potential, including people with disabilities,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This means ensuring that our workforce is welcoming and inclusive for all.”
Executive Order 92: Employment First for North Carolinians with Disabilities, was issued on March 28, 2019. Among its goals was to facilitate hospitable environments across state government where individuals with disabilities could successfully participate in competitive, integrated employment.
“I was so happy when Employment First started because it helps people see that just because a person has a disability doesn’t mean they can’t do the job,” said Tonia Gibb, Human Resources Manager at the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, whose video message is one of six from state employees featured on the new website. Hard of hearing since childhood and left with severe tunnel vision from retinitis pigmentosa, Gibb is eligible for accommodations that include reporting for onsite work with Otto, her seeing eye dog, and assignment of assistive technology that makes it easier to use a computer.
Other state employees featured in NC Employment First messages include:
- Mike Babuin, Hydrogeologist in the Wastewater Management Division of the NC Department of Environmental Quality.
- Mike Chapman, Director of Employment Services at the TEACCH Autism Program of the UNC School of Medicine. (Among the individuals counseled in the program is Jeff Pigott, a Processing Assistant II at the NC Department of Health and Human Services.)
- Mark Ezzell, Director of the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program, a program of the NC Department of Transportation.
- Paul Forte, Lead Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Investigator in the Office of Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Unit, at the NC Department of Transportation.
- Martha Kearney, Executive Administrative Intern at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Service, NC Department of Health and Human Services.
With the goal of inspiring more jobseekers to consider State of North Carolina employment, OSHR plans to add more messages sharing the Employment First experiences of state employees with disabilities. Anyone interested in participating should contact Jill Warren Lucas at Jill.Lucas@nc.gov.
The State of North Carolina will participate in a national Virtual Disability Career Fair for Individuals with Disabilities from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 13. State agencies and universities will be represented to talk with applicants interested in public service careers for competitive opportunities at agencies and locations across North Carolina. For information and to register, visit https://oshr.nc.gov/virtual-career-fair-individuals-disabilities.
All jobseekers interested in State of North Carolina employment opportunities are encouraged to create an online profile in NEOGOV, the state jobs portal, at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/northcarolina.
View Governor Cooper’s video message.
Visit NC Office of State Human Resource’s new NC Employment First website.
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