Nominations now being accepted for Colorado’s Shining Stars of VR Awards

For immediate release

Date: September 27, 2017
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
Bill Thoennes at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax: (303) 318-8070

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and its Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) are calling for nominations for the first-ever Shining Stars of VR awards.  These awards will be presented in October as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a celebration of the contributions of workers with disabilities.

Nominations for the Shining Stars of VR Awards will be accepted online through October 13.  Five awards will be presented to individuals and organizations in three categories. The awards will honor workers with disabilities, employers who have taken steps to provide employment opportunities to people with disabilities and individuals or organizations that have made a positive impact on the quality of life for people with disabilities.

“At CDLE, we are committed to strengthening and and diversifying the state’s workforce and that includes engaging and empowering workers with disabilities,” said Ellen Golombek, Executive Director of CDLE. “This community has unique talents and skillsets that would benefit any business.  These awards not only recognize the amazing contributions of workers with disabilities, but the employer partners and advocacy groups that help us tap into this valuable segment of the workforce.”

If you know a worker, a business or an organization that has made a noteworthy contribution to employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, this is a chance to recognize those achievements.  Nominations are due by 5 pm, Friday, October 13.  Nominations should be submitted at the website,  From that landing page, click on “Nominate a Shining Star of Voc Rehab by October 13.”

Worker Awards

Nominees should be individuals who are achieving their employment goals and overcoming the challenges of an impairment (physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these.)

Employer Awards

The national unemployment rate currently stands at 4.4 percent.  For people with disabilities, it is 11.2 percent.  The Employer Award will recognize five individuals, businesses or organizations that are addressing that disparity.  These award recipients will have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to improving the availability and accessibility of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Advocacy Awards

These five awards will be presented to individuals or organizations that have made contributions to improving the health and quality of life of people with disabilities through research, teaching, advocacy, or practice.

Questions about the nominating process can be directed to