With job demand high, local agency encourages businesses to hire those with disabilities

SPOKANE, Wash. — With more businesses opening back up, places are looking to hire. However, many employers can’t seem to find what they’re looking for.

Employees with Northwest Center said people with both physical and cognitive disabilities are often forgotten when it comes to the hiring process.

Elliot Sanderson is one of them. The 22-year-old was diagnosed with autism when he was just a kid.

He’s applied for countless jobs throughout this pandemic, but none of them have panned out. He’s not alone.

Regional Director for Northwest Center Ryan Newell said Spokane County has one of the highest unemployment rates for people with disabilities. The goal of the organization is to help bridge that gap, by connecting those with disabilities to employers in the area.

“Even though some people like me have autism, we can be pretty smart people and we can really do a good thing for the community,” said Sanderson.

“We have individuals that are prepared and have asked us for employment for quite some time and there’s a steady flow of those people,” said Newell.

If you’re someone with a disability that’s looking for work, Northwest Center is a resource that’s available free of charge. Click HERE to learn more.