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Cincinnati Launching New Hiring Program

Michael Keating

The City of Cincinnati is implementing an affirmative action policy to promote hiring people who self-identify as having a disability.City Council unanimously approved the ordinance this week to setup the program.

Council Member Kevin Flynn has been working on the issue and says it was a long time coming.

"It's been the law at the federal level for a long time, it's been observed by many private companies," Flynn says.

From the ordinance:

That the City Manager is authorized to develop and implement an affirmative action policy to promote the hiring of individuals who self-identify as having a disability, including establishing an aspirational goal of seven percent of City employees who self-identify as having a disability, and an aspirational goal of awarding one percent of City contracts to businesses in which a majority ownership interest is held by persons who self-identify as having a disability.

"There's no penalties if we don't reach that aspirational goal," Flynn says. "But as I think one of our speakers said, 'if we don't know where we are, we can't know where we're going.'"

The city will survey employees to voluntarily say if they have a disability.

"The statistics show that persons with disabilities, of an identifiable demographic, have the highest unemployment rate and so this will help," Flynn says.

The new law will likely take effect in March.