The Northern California Business Advisory Council (BAC) was established in 2015 to promote partnerships between local businesses and employment training programs.  The purpose of the BAC is to provide advice, guidance, and support for the continuing development of high quality workforce development programs.

Business partners are recruited to share their insight and expertise specific to their company and the industry sector they represent and allow programs that are providing supported employment services to people with developmental disabilities to learn from business experts.  Businesses provide professional expertise and guidance in the following areas:

  • Guidance with Labor Market information
  • Establishing strategic practices to hiring
  • Identification of application and interview process “best practices”
  • Development of training programs
  • Viewpoints on implementing accommodation requests

BAC meetings are held four times a year and are generally hosted by a business.   BAC meetings are generally divided into several activities: 

  1. One or two business partners highlight their positive experiences with including people with disabilities in the workforce. Topics business partners discuss include:
    1. The benefits businesses receive from supported employment agencies who recruit qualified employees with disabilities to be interviewed.
    2. The high retention rate and positive reviews of employees with disabilities.
    3. The benefits that job coaches provide at no cost to businesses by assisting with training and ongoing support to employees with disabilities.
    4. The expansion of duties for employees with disabilities that often occurs after businesses become aware of skills and supports.
    5. Internships, on the job training and other methods that effectively allow people with disabilities to showcase their work skills rather than competing against applicants with more traditional interview skills and work experience.
    6. Concerns that businesses may have initially had about hiring individuals with disabilities and the positive realities they have experienced.
  1. An in-service from an agency representative about a service, strategy, or benefit for employers when including people with disabilities in their workforce.
    1. Employer tax credits
    2. On the Job Training program available through the Department of Rehabilitation
    3. Job carving strategy
  1. Business roundtable discussion with businesses about their needs that the BAC can address in future meetings

Businesses are encouraged to contact Steve Ruder at sruder@ucdavis.edu when they are interested in attending a BAC event or want to learn more about local support agencies that can introduce qualified applicants with disabilities for interviews and assist with training and support after a hire.

Northern California Business Advisory Council (BAC) Videos

Graphics & More

Vernon Dela Cruz, VSP
Business Advisory Council


Tammy Garcia, Starbucks
Business Advisory Council

Steve Ruder, CEDD
Business Advisory Council