Individuals with Development Disabilities, An Untapped Labor Market

May 20, 2024 | By Alex Held


As many small businesses continue to face challenges in meeting their staffing needs, there is an often-overlooked labor market with significant potential: individuals living with developmental disabilities. 

Currently, Arlington County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) supports more than 600 residents living with developmental disabilities. Many of these individuals work independently or with County-sponsored support, such as a job coach. There are countless additional residents who are not only interested in working in Arlington but are eager to thrive with the right employer and support.

To raise awareness about the unique contributions that individuals with developmental disabilities can bring to the workforce and increase the number of potential opportunities for these individuals, the DHS Developmental Services Program is hosting an Employment Summit. While the event is not a hiring or recruitment fair, organizers will dispel common misconceptions, highlight the strengths and qualifications of these individuals, and educate businesses about this valuable, yet often overlooked, workforce.

The Summit, offered specifically for small and medium-sized businesses, will take place on Wednesday, May 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the lower-level auditorium at 2100 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.

If you represent a business in Arlington, please join us on May 29. To learn more or RSVP, please contact Melissa Jesurum, Developmental Services Employment and Habilitations Contract Manager, at or 703-228-1764. 


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