Highlighting the ROKability ERG
At Rockwell Automation, one of the persistent goals within our Strategic Framework is to be a place where people can and want to do their best work, every day, while supporting and reflecting the communities where we live and work. The ROKability ERG was born out of this goal and recognizing that we did not have a community of support for those with disabilities or those who care for loved ones with disability. The ROKability ERG’s mission is a simple one: We promote and celebrate awareness, achievement and victories of all abilities within Rockwell Automation and our community through shared information, organizational awareness, outreach, education and collaboration with a goal to drive systemic changes within the enterprise and in our communities.
I joined Rockwell Automation in 2007 and became President of the ROKability ERG in late 2019. In my own personal growth journey, I have become more and more aware of the challenges in recruiting and retaining talent with disabilities. Two statistics stand out in my mind. First, the US unemployment rate is around 5.4% overall, yet the unemployment rate for those with disabilities is more than double that. Secondly, and perhaps even more concerning, only 29% of people in the US with Autism can find work. These are folks that want to work, yet less than a third can find a job. That’s a gap we must and are working to address. It turns out that there is a lot of ‘action’ on these problems in the Milwaukee area.
Within RA, our ERG has progressed on a couple of key fronts. We have relaunched and rebranded our ERG. Our new logo represents our view that disabilities take many shapes and forms, as shown below. Our relaunch and rebrand has allowed us to grow our membership ranks across the globe. We have nearly quadrupled the number of employee members in our ERG. We welcome all in the belief community grows awareness, awareness leads to action.
Beyond the ‘virtual four walls of Rockwell’, we are working to attain our mission of impact in our community as well. The work that Disability:IN Wisconsin does in growing awareness across Wisconsin is impressive. Rockwell Automation and our ROKability ERG are partnering with DIW on the upcoming inaugural Disability:IN Wisconsin Charity Golf Outing happening on September 16, at the Silver Spring Golf Club in Menomonee Falls. Aside from the fun all of the golfers will have that day, the event will drive significant awareness of the challenges in disability inclusion and the membership opportunities for interested companies to become part of the DIW membership ranks. The other exciting outcome of the event is the opportunity to annually spotlight the fantastic work of a Wisconsin based disability focused charity. This year’s spotlighted charity is The Ability Center. The Ability Center has had a tremendous impact on improving the Milwaukee recreation scene by providing universal, inclusive, and adaptive sports, fitness, and recreation opportunities for those with disabilities or their caregivers. You may have seen their Bradford Beach accessible ramp buildout highlighted in the local media. Truly an impressive disability enhancement to the Milwaukee beach and we are excited to split the proceeds of the Golf event with The Ability Center and with DIW.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of our Sponsors for the Disability:IN Wisconsin Charity Golf Outing event. The generosity has been remarkable and the list is growing regularly. You can see who the sponsors are when you register for our Golf event. We still have openings and we’d really love to fill the event to its capacity.
Jason Sprunk Bio:
As Director of Global Revenue Management Systems & Operations, Jason’s team enables the pricing and negotiations processes globally. He has been with Rockwell Automation since 2007 and President of the ROKability ERG since 2019.