Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, New York, and Washington are being awarded grants as part of the Disability Employment Initiative, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy.
The DOL announced that these six states will receive grants totaling $14,911,243 to improve employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities.
“Our country succeeds when everyone is given the opportunity to succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The grants we are awarding today will increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities by connecting them to job-driven training programs that provide them with the skills to compete for high-demand industry jobs.”
This is the sixth round of Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) funding. Since 2010, the department has awarded grants worth more than $95 million through the initiative to 43 projects in 27 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities.
DEI funds help refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers (AJC); training front-line AJC and partner staff; and increasing partnerships and collaboration across numerous systems that are critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment.
Grantees of this year’s awards will use the funds to:
- Improve employment outcomes and increase the number of individuals with disabilities who earn credentials.
- Provide more and diversified job-driven training opportunities.
- Facilitate academic and employment transition among youth.
- Incorporate flexible approaches to designing and providing training and supportive services, including customized employment strategies to help jobseekers with significant disabilities.
- Build effective community partnerships and collaborations across multiple service delivery systems and the effective blending and braiding of resources.
- Promote more active engagement with the business sector.
More information on the DEI is available here.