Dutton Farms Speaks Nationally on Building an Inclusive Workforce

Building an inclusive and diverse workplace and allowing all to live lives of dignity and purpose were themes of two standing room only sessions featuring Jenny Brown, CEO of Dutton Farm, at the 88th Winter Meeting of the U. S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Washington, DC. Brown was invited to address America’s mayors by Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett, President of the Conference.

Brown, at a table with others, speaks into a microphone

Dutton Farms Speaks Nationally on Building an Inclusive Workforce

Recognized as a leader in providing unique workforce opportunities for adults with disabilities, Brown addressed two sessions: A panel session titled “Building an Inclusive Workforce: Best Practices in Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Employees with Disabilities” and at the Mayors Workforce Development Council.

Dutton Farm provides meaningful life engagement, training, and pre-vocational opportunities on the farm for adults with developmental disabilities. Their dedicated Workforce Development team helps participants to create a plan, determine a suitable job, identify job vacancies within the private sector, as well as secure and retain off-site employment. In fact, all of the products that they sell at their marketplace were made by someone in our community and you’ll see their name on the product.

As President of the Conference, Mayor Barnett’s three strategic priorities are focused on Infrastructure, Innovation, and Inclusion. At the panel sessions, Mayor Barnett stressed the importance of building an inclusive workforce and increasing access and opportunity for people with disabilities.

“As Mayors, we are committed to highlighting the good work being done across the country and the meaningful discussions that promote inclusion,” stated Barnett. “I am thrilled that we were able to highlight one of our own local nonprofits and hope that it will inspire others to find ways to increase opportunities for people of all abilities.”

In a time of rapid technological change, private and public sector leaders must join together with the education community to build more resilient and skilled people and places. An essential piece of that is creatively and actively engaging those with developmental disabilities. This will empower and support adults with disabilities to live a life of purpose, inclusion and dignity.

“We were honored to have been invited by Mayor Barnett to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting where we were able to spread our message on a national level,” stated CEO Brown. “Having a national platform to share our story with Mayors, major corporations, and opinion leaders was an extraordinary opportunity.”

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