Untapped Arizona: Your Resource for an Inclusive Workforce

DDNN Fall 2015
Arizona Developmental Disabilities Council

The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has begun the 4th year of funding Untapped Arizona, a project designed to unite employers already implementing diverse employment practices with employers interested in providing employment opportunities to persons with disabilities.

Ralph Serpico, CEO of the organization, has been working vigorously over the last year to prepare for a full launch of the program to occur over the next year.  He’s submitted information on his activities as listed below:

Untapped Arizona Survey of Businesses
Recently, Untapped Arizona (UAZ) conducted a survey of employers throughout the state in the 12 industry sectors, including high-growth industries. The purpose of the survey was to assist UAZ in:

  • Identifying current attitudes and practices regarding recruitment and hiring of individuals with disabilities.
  • Addressing the knowledge gap about employers’ perceived challenges in recruiting and hiring individuals with disabilities, and strategies used by employers to address these challenges.
  • Using key insights from the survey to guide UAZ’s strategic plan.

A total of 549 online surveys were completed, representative of Arizona businesses. Untapped Arizona is using the findings from this survey to formulate targeted strategies and practices for increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Arizona.

Untapped Arizona: your resource for an inclusive workforcePriorities for This Year
Following are some of Untapped Arizona’s priorities for our three developmental tracks – Business, Labor and Organization– for this year:


  • Develop marketing tools and strategies to inform Arizona businesses about UAZ and tools to support them in diversifying their workforce.
  • Develop consultant network for Arizona businesses to access subject matter experts in employment and disability.

Labor Pool

  • Collaborate with DES on the UAZ “Seal of Approval” and enhancements to the self-disclosure option for AZ Job Connection.
  • Implement model and develop tools to drive the talent pool to AZ Job Connection.
  • Create processes to collect data to track and report key outcomes.


  • Recruit and establish a Board of Directors.
  • Establish nonprofit organizational status.
  • Become the Arizona affiliate of the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN).
  • Execute short- and long-term diversified funding strategies.

AZ Job Connection
Check out the updated AZ Job Connection <www.azjobconnection.gov> today – the site provides job seekers, employers, and training providers with easy-to-use tools and services, free of charge. Job seekers with disabilities can look for jobs as well as access other useful information, resources, and services.