Best Practices
May 13, 2008

Booz Allen Hamilton Expands Student Disability Internship Program Nationwide

Finding and keeping good workers are among the greatest challenges facing businesses in the 21st century. Today, more than ever, businesses need access to a skilled and diverse workforce. They cannot stay competitive and increase profitability without qualified personnel.

People with disabilities are a source of qualified workers that is frequently overlooked. This pool of workers represents one of the largest groups seeking employment in today's market -- some 9 million unemployed Americans with significant disabilities want to work.

In 2001, Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm, founded the Emerging Leaders Program, which is designed to place college students with disabilities into competitive internships within the company. The program not only provides students with work experience in the private sector, but it couples that experience with leadership development at non-profit organizations or within federal agencies.

According to Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO, Ralph Shrader, "A job is much more than a paycheck. It provides a means for us to learn and grow, to contribute to society, feel recognized and rewarded, and form deep friendships. For people with disabilities, finding a job—and gaining the significant benefits that come along with employment—can be especially difficult. Hiring qualified men and women with disabilities is good business and good citizenship."

Recently Booz Allen has transitioned the Emerging Leaders Program to the National Business and Disability Council in order to expand the program to more students and companies. Today the program assists corporations across the country in not only finding qualified young people to work, but it also helps them to consider diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices. Learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program and Booz Allen Hamilton online.