New Web site to help the disabled locate jobs worthy of their skills

May 19, 2001|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

Norval Ellingsworth finds himself in two categories that do not often mesh: blind and employed.

He's worked at Allfirst Bank for nearly 13 years with the aid of a computer that talks to him. Many others with disabilities - college educated and skilled - are jobless or in dead-end positions, he said.

`I had the skills'

"Human resources wasn't so sure at first about me," Ellings- worth said. "But it didn't take long to see I could do it, that I had the skills and the intelligence."

A new Web site is intended to link more people with disabilities to work by posting their resumes while providing information on training and tax breaks for employers. The site is a response by local business and community leaders to a call from federal and state governments, which identified 54 million Americans with disabilities - more than half of whom are either unemployed or underemployed.

There are other public-private groups around the nation taking similar action. Baltimore's site, www.gbbln.org, was launched yesterday by the Greater Baltimore Business Leadership Network.

Sponsors found

Robyn Mingle, vice president of human resources at Black & Decker Corp. and chairwoman of the group, said she knocked on doors in the corporate community in search of sponsors. Respondents included Allfirst, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., McCormick & Co., the Rouse Co. and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. Several community groups also signed on.

Mingle said the organization plans to continue marketing the site and touting the caliber of candidates they have pooled. There now are 43 resumes on the site.

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