OOD places a priority on engaging businesses in Ohio to form employer partnerships, creating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities served by VR. The Business Relations Unit within the Division of Employer and Innovation Services is led by an Assistant Deputy Director and includes a Business Relations Manager, two Business Relations Liaisons, and five regional Business Relations Specialists (BRSs).
With the goal of creating opportunities for employment in competitive integrated settings and fostering long-term success for individuals with disabilities, BRSs attempt to identify businesses who are likely to have job openings either in the form of replacing existing employees as they leave or in the form of additional job growth as the business expands. To the extent that these activities can be anticipated, BRSs can target their efforts toward employers who are likely to generate sustainable employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. To this end, the CSNA offers insight into what industries and occupations are likely to present the most opportunities for individuals with disabilities, as well as those that may present the greatest challenges.
Industries that are projected to grow the most in terms of new job creation in Ohio are Health Care and Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; and Accommodation and Food Services. Approximately 18,916 new jobs will be created in these industries each year.
When considering new job creation plus replacement opportunities, the occupations that are projected to have the most annual openings include Combined Food Prep & Service Workers, including Fast Food; Retail Salespersons; Cashiers; Waiters and Waitresses; and Registered Nurses. Together, these occupations are expected to generate 26,953 open positions annually.
Balance ratios were generated for the various occupations and industries to evaluate the degree to which VR participant job goals align with annual projected job opportunities. This analysis revealed that there are industries where demand for openings far outstrips supply, most notably the Administrative and Support, Manufacturing, and Retail Trade industries; and industries where the supply of job openings far outstrips demand, highlighted by the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
It is unlikely that a high rate of success will be achieved by individuals pursuing occupations in industries with high balance ratios, regardless of the total volume of opportunities created. The Retail Trade industry, for example, is expected to generate 1,340 new jobs annually. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that individuals with disabilities comprise 3.7 percent of the workforce, approximately 50 of these openings will be filled by individuals with disabilities. OOD currently has 1,021 individuals in service with this plan goal, creating a highly competitive job placement scenario among the individuals served by OOD, let alone the members of the general public who are also seeking employment in the Retail Trade industry.
This scenario should prompt a reevaluation of job goals among VR participants to ensure that efforts are directed toward outcomes presenting the greatest opportunity for success.