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Gov. Markell keeps employment among people with disabilities among top priorities

Delaware Public Media

Gov. Jack Markell (D) continues to focus on securing jobs for people with disabilities in his weekly message.

In his speech, Markell touted Project SEARCH, a jobs training program to put businesses in touch with potential employees with disabilities.


Christiana Care and Bayhealth – two of the largest healthcare networks in the state – are big backers of the project, and Markell says they’ve both benefited.


“Increasingly, employers like Christiana Care and Bayhealth are realizing that giving individuals with different types of abilities isn’t about charity. It’s about finding the most talented employees,” he said.


Initiatives like these have long been pillars of the governor’s tenure – including his stint as the head of the National Governor’s Association.

Here is the full transcript from Gov. Jack Markell's weekly message:

Our state is at its best when we make the most of the talents of all of our people. 

Every member of our community deserves a chance to be productive, to be told they and their work matter, and to contribute to the greater good by putting their time and talent to use.

I'm pleased that in Delaware we’ve made real progress in supporting people with different types of abilities through programs like Project Search.  This career development program for people is sponsored by Christiana Care, with strong support from the State’s Department of Labor, Red Clay School District, and non-profit service providers who provide career coaching and job search assistance—Bayhealth also participates.

This past week I visited with this year’s inspiring class of Project Search graduates, including Chris Coulston.  Chris had a genuine interest in the healthcare field and a strong desire to help people. 

After gaining valuable job skills through Project Search, Chris recently accepted a full-time position at Christiana Hospital. Chris is one of dozens of Delawareans to find rewarding careers since the program started five years ago.

He and his fellow graduates have risen to challenges in fast-paced jobs in a competitive marketplace. They have a new purpose and immense satisfaction, and they’ve set an example for their peers. And increasingly, employers like Christiana Care and Bayhealth are realizing that giving individuals with disabilities a chance isn’t about charity, it’s about finding the most talented employees. 

Because of people like Chris, and committed employers, Delaware ranks first in the nation for helping those who receive disability benefits get a job. 

When we focus on the ability, it’s amazing what we can accomplish.  Creating those pathways and keeping true to that commitment in the years ahead will keep Delaware moving forward. 

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