SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that less than 25 percent of Americans with disabilities participate in the workforce, but a local job fair is pairing willing workers with employers looking for dedicated, loyal employees.

During National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, Goodwill Industries of Northwest Louisiana is calling on employers to consider hiring people with disabilities.

“They are the most reliable, loyal employees you could ever find. One thing for employers to realize is that if you get someone with a disability, they’re going to be with you for the long haul.” Goodwill Open Placement Manager Darlene Robinson said. “And you don’t have to worry about hiring somebody else to train. They’re going to be with you. And it’s going to cut down on costs.”

William Yearby says he attended the job fair because he’s determined to work hard for himself and his family.

“I can figure out which jobs I want, so I can be eligible to get a job that’s paying more money, ” Yearby said. “So that I can help my grandmother and my family that’s striving, depending on me, and motivating me to do more.”

Goodwill not only helps workers it also guides employers through the process of hiring people with disabilities.

“We talk with them back and forth. So they’ll understand, this is what you can expect,” Robinson said. “We get a lot of great feedback from the employers once they hire them.”

Robinson said more than 70 people attended the job fair. She said many of them were interviewed on the spot or scheduled interviews for later.