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This newsletter highlights events and programs offered through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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Mine Rescue Competition Recap

Mine Rescue Competition Recap

The 32nd Annual Missouri Mine Rescue Contest was held September 24-25, 2014, at the Missouri University of Science and Technology Experimental Mine in Rolla. Mine safety and rescue teams from across the United States gathered in Rolla to compete in a number of events including a rescue simulation, first aid safety, written exams, and more.

The Missouri Mine Rescue Contest is unique because teams compete in an underground mine, which prepares professional miners for situations they could encounter on the job. The rescue simulation tasks team members with creating a plan to rescue trapped miners as quickly and safely as possible while facing issues like air quality and structural integrity. The first aid portion of the competition requires teams to provide first aid on an in injured miner an emergency situation. Each skill practiced during the competition is beneficial for the rescue teams.

The results of this year’s competition are as follows:

Best In State Team - Doe Run Maroon Team
Best Out of State Team - Vulcan Materials Company

1st place Field Competition - Vulcan Materials Company
2nd place Field Competition - Doe Run Maroon Team
3rd place Field Competition - Doe Run Grey Team
4th place Field Competition - Central Plains Cement/Talon
5th place Field Competition - Wipp Blue Team

1st place Team Technician - Doe Run Maroon Team
2nd place Team Technician - Vulcan Materials Company
3rd place Team Technician - Wipp Blue Team

1st place First Aid - Doe Run Grey Team
2nd place First Aid - Wipp Blue Team
3rd place First Aid - Vulcan Materials Company

1st place Team Trainer - Steve Setzer-Doe Run Maroon Team

To watch a recap of the competition, watch the Department’s special edition of This Week in Labor.

Mining is one of the most dangerous industries in the country. To help make Missouri’s mines and caves safer, the Missouri Department of Labor offers free programs to train miners on implementing safe and healthy working habits at the workplace. To learn more about the Mine and Cave Safety Program or sign up for a free training or consultation, visit this website.

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Shared Work Program

Shared Work Program

As the winter months approach, some businesses may be faced with layoffs due to lack of work. Instead of laying off valuable employees, businesses should see if participating in the Shared Work Program is viable option. The Shared Work Program is an alternative to layoffs that allows a business to divide available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff.

Under the Shared Work Program, employees can receive partial unemployment benefits while working reduced hours for up to 52 weeks. To participate, a business must complete this application for the affected unit within the company and submit it to the Division of Employment Security for approval.

“The Shared Work Program is one of the best programs we have participated in with the state,” said Roy Rutledge, Director of Human Resources for Quaker Window Products Company. “Very simply, it allows us to keep good employees during the slow times by supplementing their income with unemployment benefits.”

Example: How it works for businesses
For example: A business that is facing a 20 percent reduction in production usually lays off one-fifth of its work force.

Using the Shared Work Program Plan, the business retains its total workforce on a four-day-a-week basis. This allows the business to make the necessary 20 percent reduction by reducing hours from 40 a week to 32 a week, keeping the workforce for which it has invested time and money.

The Shared Work Program allows the business to retain 100 percent of its employee and workers receive their wages for the four-day workweek plus 20 percent of their weekly unemployment benefit amount.

Example: How it works for Employees
An employee earns $773.09 per week ($154.61 per day). If that employee loses their job, they would be entitled to receive $320 a week in unemployment benefits.

If the employee at this company qualifies to be a part of the Shared Work Program, they would receive four days or 80 percent of their regular weekly pay plus 20 percent of the weekly unemployment benefit amount, which is $64.

The employee would receive $618.47 of regular pay for four days plus $64 through the Shared Work Program on their day off.

Shared Work Requirements for businesses are:

  • There are three or more employees in an affected unit
  • The normal 40-hour work week and corresponding wages for a participating employee are reduced in the plan by no fewer than 20 percent and no more than 40 percent
  • The plan applies to at least 10 percent of the employees in the affected unit
  • The business certifies that the implementation of a Shared Work Plan and the resulting reduction in work hours is in lieu of a temporary layoff
  • The business must continue to provide the same fringe benefits to all affected employees
  • The business must inform all affected employees of the Shared Work Plan as soon as possible
  • The Shared Work Program will not be denied to employees in Director-approved training, such as business-sponsored training or training funded under the Workforce Investment Act of 1988

Shared Work Requirements for workers are:

  • An individual must accept all work offered by the participating business for the claim period filed
  • An individual must be able to work and be available for full-time work with the participating business
  • An individual must be monetarily eligible for regular unemployment benefits in the state of Missouri
  • An individual will receive no benefits if he or she works for the participating business more than the reduced hours specified in the plan
  • The first eligible week will be the waiting week on the claim

Click here to request information about the Shared Work Program.

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MCHR Diversity Spotlight - National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National  Disability Employment Awareness Month

In October, the Department recognizes the significant contributions that persons with disabilities make in the workplace as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The theme for 2014 is "Expect. Employ. Empower." The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate the public about disability employment issues and to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. These employees are often highly-motivated performers and generally have much higher retention rates than workers without disabilities, which means reduced recruitment and training costs for employers.

Workplaces welcoming of the talents of all people, including those with disabilities, are a critical part of our state's efforts to build an inclusive community and strong economy. In July 2011, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon established each October as Missouri Disability History and Awareness Month to acknowledge this understanding and to encourage school districts to provide instruction on the contributions of persons with disabilities during this time of recognition.

An estimated 20 percent of U.S. citizens—including nearly one million Missourians—have a medical condition that qualifies as a physical or mental disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Missouri Human Rights Act. These conditions are not always obvious to others and can include common ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, hepatitis, and epilepsy. If a major life activity, such as a walking, balancing, seeing, hearing, breathing, or working, is substantially limited due to your medical condition, you are protected from workplace discrimination in regard to your disability.

Throughout October, the Governor’s Council on Disability, which promotes full participation and inclusion of Missourians with disabilities in all aspects of community life, sponsors a Disability History and Awareness Month display on the second and fourth floors of the Truman Building, 301 West High Street, Jefferson City, and also spotlights outstanding Missourians with disabilities online. The Council also has developed a Resource Guide for Missouri on Disability History and Awareness and created a visual aid to honor and celebrate October as Disability History and Awareness Month throughout Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations promotes disability awareness and proper employment practices, as Missouri works best when all of its citizens are able to take advantage of public accommodations and employment opportunities. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights, an independent Commission housed within the Department of Labor, enforces the Missouri Human Rights Act. The Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits disability discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. If you believe you are a person with a disability who has been discriminated against, contact the Missouri Commission on Human Rights at 877-781-4236 or take this assessment to determine if you are eligible to file a complaint with the Commission. To find out more about how employers can profit by investing in workers with disabilities, contact The Whole Person, a private, nonresidential, nonprofit corporation providing a full range of community-based services for people with disabilities. Paraquad, in the St. Louis area, is one of the oldest Centers for Independent Living in the country and has a multitude of resources and services available.

Celebrate Disability History and Awareness Month by participating in activities around the state:

Western Missouri

  • Don’t miss the networking opportunities at the 10th Annual Greater Kansas City Disability Mentoring Day on Oct. 17 and 28 for informative events addressing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Oct. 17 event will be held at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Bell Cultural Events Center, 2030 College Way, Olathe, Kan., and the Oct. 28 event will be at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Mo. The event is free for those Kansas City vicinity individuals with a disability, and lunch is complimentary with advance registration.
  • Join the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City for the Ability Quest: Run, Walk, Stroll or Roll event on Saturday, Oct. 11, located Berkley Riverfront Park, Riverfront Drive, Kansas City, Mo. Assistive mobility devices are welcome on the wide, paved race route, which provides either a one- or two-mile option for participants. Leashed dogs are permitted. Contact Lexie Humphrey at 816-751-7781, or visit RIKC online for further details.
  • The 2014 Walk and Roll on Oct. 12 is a family-friendly charity walk for children with special needs as well as their parents, family members, caregivers, friends, and anyone who wants to support this cause. All proceeds from the event will benefit Parents of Children with Special Needs' (PCWSN) programs and families locally. Registration begins at noon at Penguin Park, North Vivion Road and North Norton Avenue, Kansas City, and the walk starts at 2 p.m. For more information, visit PCWSN online.
  • On Oct. 22, Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) will host a free Disability Awareness Fair at the Billingsly Student Center, 3950 East Newman Road, Joplin, from 10 a.m. to noon to help the campus community learn about area organizations that provide resources and services for people with disabilities. For more information, contact Lori Musser by at 417-625-9516.
  • October managed hunts, specifically including offerings targeted for hunters using assistive mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, are available through the Missouri Department of Conservation. Check out the available options, dates, locations, and contact information online.

Mid-Missouri

  • Services for Independent Living, Mizzou Diversity, and Ragtag Cinema, 10 Hitt St., Columbia, will be hosting the film When I Walk  in celebration of Disability History and Awareness Month on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at no charge to the public. Rides available with advance scheduling by Oct. 2. Visit Services for Independent Living or Ragtag Cinema for more information.
  • Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. (ILRC) and Missouri Rehabilitation and Employment (MORE) Group are hosting an hour-long Business Network Coffee on Oct. 8 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the ILRC, 1760 Southridge Drive, Jefferson City. All businesses and providers working with persons with disabilities are invited to network and discuss employment for persons with disabilities in Central Missouri. Coffee, tea, and pastries will be provided. RSVP by Oct. 6 to Rose at 573-556-0400 or rose@ilrcjcmo.org.
  • On Oct. 29, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and MPACT will host the 6th Annual Transition Summit at the Truman State Building, 301 West High Street, Jefferson City, with sign in beginning at 9 a.m. The Summit is a one-day learning experience designed for students who have disabilities, special education transition personnel and student teams, family members, case managers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and Centers for Independent Living personnel. Sessions are focused on the preparation of youth for transition to post-secondary education, employment, independent living, and community experiences. For more information, visit MPACT or call 800-743-7634.

Eastern Missouri

  • The 58th Annual Missouri Council of the Blind Convention brings together members and guests for seminars, workshops, and presentations designed to improve the lives of persons who are blind or visually impaired on Oct. 3-5 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, 2431 North Glenstone Ave., Springfield. For more information, visit MCB online or contact the group by e-mail at aa@moblind.org or by phone at 314-832-7172.
  • On Oct. 11, Autism Speaks will hold its annual walk at Central Field in Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis. Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a fun-filled, family-friendly event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m. Register online or visit the website for more information.
  • Healthcare professionals and survivors of brain injuries and their families are welcome to attend the Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) 10th Annual Statewide Conference at the St. Charles Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, on Oct. 16-18. Sessions held Oct. 16 and 17 will focus on topics of interest to healthcare professionals, rehabilitation specialists, physicians, neuropsychologists, mental health professionals, case managers, vocational rehabilitation coordinators, social workers, and others who work in the field of brain injury. On Oct. 18, a special seminar will be held for survivors of brain injuries and their families. To register, visit BIA-MO, or for questions or any other information, contact Jordan Syrigos at Jordan@biamo.org or info@biamo.org, or call 800-444-6443.

Learn more by exploring these related websites:

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