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Governor’s Committee Honors Employers Hiring Disabled
- Civic Affairs
OLYMPIA –As Washington celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month, nine public and private employers were honored today for their exemplary work recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting individuals with disabilities.

Washington’s Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE) and Business Leadership Network organize this ceremony annually to recognize state employers. It was held this year at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond.

“Our award winners excel at tapping into the tremendous energy and talent pool in the disability community,” said Chris Carnell, Governor’s Committee chairman. “They’re role models for the entire state.”

Winners of the 2016 Governor’s Employer Awards Program are:
· Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland
· Excelsior Youth Center, Spokane
· InsideWorks, Seattle
· Little Anchor Childcare Center, Seattle
· Microsoft
· Snohomish County
· Sodexo - Walla Walla University Team
· Washington Access Fund, Seattle
· Washington State Department of Licensing

Washington businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals submitted the nominations and a panel of GCDE members, business representatives and previous award recipients selected this year’s honorees.

The committee also honored Emily Cooper for her commitment to people with disabilities. Cooper, an attorney with Disability Rights Washington, received the Governor’s Trophy in Memory of Carolyn Blair Brown — the highest honor given to someone with a disability who has significantly empowered people with disabilities in Washington.

A new award this year — the Employment Support Professional Award — went to Sue Anne Lemkin. As the Supported Employment coordinator for Snohomish County, Lemkin creates job opportunities for workers with developmental disabilities.

The Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment advises the governor, Legislature, state agencies and other policy makers on issues important to people with disabilities.

For interviews with the award winners and photos from the Oct. 7 ceremony, contact Melinda Johnson. For more information about the GCDE, contact Executive Secretary Toby Olson at 360-902-9489.

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