As we approach the one year anniversary since the revised Section 503 disability regulation took effect, I sense a real shift in the contractor community’s attitude toward these changes. When the regulations first passed, contractors appeared overwhelmed and anxious. How would these regulations impact operations and how could they reasonably meet these new obligations? Comments ranged from burdensome to unrealistic. Some balked at the 7% utilization goal claiming it would be too hard to find quality candidates or too difficult to get their employees to self-identify. The tone and comments were not necessarily all negative, but people seemed resigned rather than supportive of the regulations’ intent – to bring more employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Outreach was nothing new, but the data analysis, goal setting, and outreach evaluation were game changers. No longer would a yearly email or letter to a community agency suffice. Contractors needed to demonstrate through quantitative and qualitative analysis that they were taking strides to reach out to this important demographic.
With significant un