Featured Role Model Company: Centene

Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation is a Starkloff Disability Institute Role Model Company and longtime partner in our mission to create a world that welcomes people with disabilities. As a leading provider of government-sponsored healthcare programs for low-income populations, Centene understands the importance of ensuring that all people have equal access to the resources they need. Centene believes that by proactively hiring people with disabilities, it is better able to serve its 25+ million members, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. 

SDI has been working with Centene since 2004, when Centene tapped us to better equip its talent acquisition process for professionals with disabilities. From there, our relationship blossomed into a true partnership.

Spotlight Program: Centene National Disability Advisory Council

In 2012, Centene worked with SDI and other key leaders in the community to establish a council to help the company develop a framework for disability inclusion with respect to its employees, members, providers and suppliers.

Centene’s National Disability Advisory Council (CNDAC) is composed of national leaders in disability advocacy who work on enterprise-wide recommendations and initiatives that advance disability inclusion in Centene’s workforce and product offerings. Our co-founder, Colleen Kelly Starkloff, currently serves as the advisory council’s chair.

The CNDAC is leading the way for disability inclusion through collaboration and innovation. As experts and advocates with disabilities, the members of CNDAC provide expertise and a strategic vision for best practices that help shape Centene’s disability policies, as an employer and as a managed care provider.

Disability Inclusion — A Priority at Centene

For Centene, providing a supportive and welcoming environment for people with disabilities has always been a priority. Named one of the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” by the Disability Equality Index for several years running, Centene is dedicated to maintaining a diverse workforce that accurately reflects the communities it serves. 

This is a cause that Michael Neidorff, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, has championed since joining the company in 1996. During his tenure at Centene, Mr. Neidorff has continuously expanded diversity and inclusion principles throughout the enterprise. In 2020, he joined business leaders across the U.S. in signing the CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion as part of Disability:IN’s “Are You IN?” campaign, an initiative focused on further advancing inclusive practices for people with disabilities.

The same year, the National Organization on Disability gave Centene the Leading Disability Employer Seal for its efforts in mentoring and hiring employees with disabilities, and investing in key tools and resources to set them up for success. ABILITY, Centene’s voluntary, employee-led advocacy group, also helps support the attraction, development, and retention of talent at all levels.

Philanthropic Commitment

In addition to being a Role Model Company, Centene underscores its commitment to disability inclusion as a financial supporter of our work at SDI. Centene is a Chairman’s Circle member of the Max J. Starkloff Society and presenting sponsor for many of our events and initiatives that empower people with disabilities to achieve economic independence and participate fully in society.

Centene employees are hands-on partners in our career development programs. One of the hallmarks of SDI’s programs, and what makes these programs so effective, is the connection candidates and students make with real world professionals and hiring managers. Centene employees are some of our most dedicated corporate volunteers, getting involved with everything from conducting mock interviews in the Starkloff Career Academy to candid conversations about career paths during Dream Big.

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