Press release provided by Wells Fargo.
Throughout July, Wells Fargo celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination against Americans with disabilities and guarantees them equal opportunity under law.
Wells Fargo Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell has seen first-hand the importance of the ADA. His 29-year-old son, Sam, was born with a disability. On behalf of Wells Fargo, Powell recently accepted the 2020 Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses award presented by Disability:IN, a leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide.
“The ADA is really important to me personally and to so many people in our country,” said Powell, who is a co-sponsor of Wells Fargo’s Diverse Abilities Team Member Network. “It’s removed significant barriers and provided important opportunities for people with disabilities. That includes my son, my family, and millions of other families like mine.”
Wells Fargo’s focus on people with disabilities is evident throughout the company.
Supported Employment: A collaborative approach to hiring people with disabilities
In 2017, Corporate Properties launched its first supplier-supported employment program to hire people with disabilities through third-party vendors. This program works with third-party service providers and local and vocational agencies to match candidates with disabilities to jobs in a variety of Wells Fargo locations. On-site job coaches support associates with disabilities who receive prevailing wages in integrated settings.
“We started this program in the third quarter of 2017, filling three positions in a single market,” said Kathy Sanders, Business Support Manager at Wells Fargo. “As of March 2020, we’re on track to connect more than 60 candidates with disabilities to viable employment at 12 certified firms in 17 key markets by end of the year.”
Sanders continues, “Through this program, participating vendors have seen their employee turnover rates drop from an average of 35% to around 13%. What’s most gratifying, though, is the sense of accomplishment these employees have when they receive, what for many of them is their very first paycheck. It’s remarkable!”
Supply chain opportunities
Another example is within Wells Fargo’s Supply Chain Management, which is focused on engaging firms owned and managed by people with disabilities. Over the past five years, Wells Fargo has spent $13 million with certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBEs).
“A key priority of Wells Fargo’s business inclusion strategy is to help integrate diverse businesses into the U.S. economy,” said Regina Heyward, head of Supplier Diversity at Wells Fargo. “We leverage our relationship with Disability:IN and other national nonprofit organizations to address the systemic barriers that operate to prevent people with disabilities from reaching full employment and participation within corporate supply chains.”
A top sponsor of the Disability:IN conference for the past six years, Wells Fargo employees engage to recruit talent, identify disability-owned businesses, and demonstrate a strong corporate commitment to people with disabilities.
“Disability:IN has created a collaborative network of major corporate brands and partners who are serious about supporting people with disabilities,” Heyward said. “Wells Fargo continues to leverage our relationship with Disability:IN to add value to our internal inclusion strategies.”