Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced $15 million in Disability Employment Initiative grants to assist youth and adults with disabilities seeking employment. The Disability Employment Initiative is a joint program of the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy. DOL anticipates awarding eight grants — ranging from $1.5 to $2.5 million — to be spent in a 42 month period. Funding will be provided to at least one project for each of the following three target populations: adults with disabilities (ages 18 and older); youth with disabilities (ages 14-24); and individuals with significant disabilities (ages 14 and older). Workforce agencies interested in applying for this funding should visit http://www.grants.gov. The deadline to apply is June 11, 2015.
- Make disability employment part of the state workforce development strategy.
- Find and support businesses in their efforts to employ people with disabilities.
- Be a model employer by increasing the number of people with disabilities working in state government.
- Prepare youth with disabilities for careers that use their full potential, providing employers with a pipeline of skilled workers.
- Make the best use of limited resources to advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The Department of Labor announced $20,654,352 for seven states under the Disability Employment Initiative to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The new grants are being awarded to Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island.