Initiative Funds

Reprinted from PN December 2012

Disability Employment Initiative allots more than $20 million to seven states.

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Seven states are getting more than $20 million under the Disability Employment Initiative.

The initiative is designed to improve education, training, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. It’s jointly funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

All projects under this initiative build upon previous department initiatives by hiring staff with expertise in disability and work-force issues. The grants support extensive collaboration across multiple workforce and disability service systems in each state, including vocational rehabilitation, mental health, intellectual/developmental disability agencies, independent living centers, business leadership networks, and other community and nonprofit organizations.

The initiative expands the public work-force system’s participation in the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program by requiring participating state work-force agencies or local work-force investment boards to become active employment networks.

The following states received these specific amounts in funding:


-              State of Florida Department of Economic Development, $3,291,410

-              Iowa Workforce Development, $1,883,230

-              Indiana Department of Workforce Development Employment, $2,277,748

-              Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development,   $4,788,892

-              Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, $2,797,093

-              Louisiana Workforce Commission, $2,271,102

-              Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, $3,344,877


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