Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity

The day that President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law, Vice President Joe Biden released his report, “Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity.” During his January 28th State of the Union Address, President Obama called up on Vice President Biden to ‘to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: Train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.” Highlights related to people with disabilities include:

  • Disability Employment Initiative: According to the report, “This fall, grants will be awarded to expand the capacity of American Job Centers to improve employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities (including those with significant disabilities) by increasing the participation of this population in existing career pathways programs that provide a full education and training programs along with supportive services.”
  • Pathways to Careers for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities: “This fall, grants will be awarded “to develop, test, and evaluate new integrated education and career training strategies to help ensure that youth and young adults with disabilities acquire the skills, degrees, and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment.”
  • A cross-agency group, including DOL, ED, DOJ, HHS VA, SSA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Council on Disability, and Office of Personnel Management will “…help people with disabilities prepare to qualify for the array of jobs offered by federal contractors; connect federal contractors with jobs to qualified job seekers with disabilities; and provide federal contractors with the tools and resources they need to recruit, retain and promote people with disabilities.”