Businesses Receive Employee Disability Award

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COLUMBIA - Six local businesses received awards Friday afternoon for hiring workers with disabilities and incorporating them into business strategies. 

The Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation presented each award after President Barack Obama and Governor Jay Nixon proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The three Hy-Vee stores in Columbia, The Bluffs, the McDonalds at Smiley Lane, and Sears in Columbia Mall all received the Employee Disability Awareness Award.

Vocational Rehabilitation chose businesses that met President Obama's proclamation for business employement.  Obama said that businesses should invest in disabled workers "to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities."

Brent Heinz, store director of the Conley Road Hy-Vee, said, "We really don't focus on an employee having a disability.  We first focus on whether they are a good candidate.  If they then have a disability we find the best place for them to be incorporated into our work."

Vocational Rehabilitation helps 200 people with disabilities return to work each year.