The U.S. Department of Labor is interested in helping disabled Americans get back into the workforce. They have $22 million available in a fund that can be accessed by grant applications.
The intention is for state workforce agencies to apply for grants ranging from $1.5 to $6 million in size, and work with workforce investment boards and others in their local area. The grants should be spent over a 3 year period, and should be used to provide education, training, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The Labor Department is concerned that not enough is being done to help people with disabilities enter and stay in the workforce. Secretary of labor Hilda Solis remarked that the U.S. needs to work hard to be competitive in this global economy, and “must leverage and foster the professional skills and talents of every single worker, including the millions of working-age people with disabilities across the country.”
Many individuals with disabilities, including those receiving Social Security Disability benefits, are unemployed or underemployed. The Department of Labor hopes that this project, a joint effort of the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy, will begin to change that.