UCP seeks employers who want to do the right thing

Employers get a nice tax break when

they hire people with disabilities through

United Cerebral Palsy of Northern


But the agency's chief executive says

most employers are motivated by something

other than financial considerations.

"They have a wish to give something

back to the community. A lot of people

don't know how to do that," said Russ

Rougeau, founding executive director of

the Reno-based organization.

Despite its name, United Cerebral

Palsy's clients include people with a variety

of disabilities not just cerebral

palsy and one of the agency's missions

is to get as many as possible into the


"We want them to be taxpayers

instead of tax users," Rougeau said a few

days ago.

Here's how United Cerebral Palsy

makes that happen:

The agency's staff tests clients to

determine how they might fit into the

workplace and provides some basic training.

Typically, Rougeau said, United

Cerebral Palsy clients find jobs in industries

such as gaming, hospitality and fastfood.

Others have gone to work in businesses

ranging from floral shops to light


Because employers typically don't have

the time or expertise to devote to on-thejob

training of a person with a disability,

United Cerebral Palsy first sends one of

its job coaches to the workplace for a few

days to learn the job at the agency's


The job coach works at least three

weeks with the client to teach him the


United Cerebral Palsy follows up with

at least two visits a month with the

employee to make sure no problems arise.

The primary tax benefit available to

employers is the Work Opportunity Tax

Credit, which provides a one-time credit

of up to $2,400 per worker.

About 65 people are at work through

the supported employment program of

United Cerebral Palsy. Its other services

include housing assistance as well as

workshop employment for disabled people

who aren't ready for the competitive


What to do

For information about the United

Cerebral Palsy of Northern Nevada

employment program, call the

agency at 331-323 and ask to

speak to an employment specialist.


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