People with disabilities can work and want to work. Given the growing body of evidence that demonstrates that workers with disabilities meet or exceed the job performance of co-workers without disabilities, the continuing high unemployment rate and low labor force participation rate of people with disabilities deprive the nation of a valuable pool of talent. Increasing the employment of people with disabilities produces significant benefits to the economy, the nation, and people with disabilities themselves.
The primary focus of the survey was to determine how knowledgeable HR professionals are regarding various governmental incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities. In addition, the survey sought to find out how many companies actually take advantage of employer incentives and who in companies make decisions about using them. A secondary focus of the survey was to assess HR professionals’ attitudes and opinions regarding the impact of the ADA on the employment of individuals with disabilities; determine the level of effort companies expend in recruiting individuals with disabilities; and gain insight into senior managements' personal experiences with disabilities. Furthermore, the survey sought the opinions of HR professionals on how best to improve the employment of individuals with disabilities
Iowa's Workforce Partners Employment Network (EN) Final Report, PY 2010, was juts issued. Iowa's Workforce Boards and Workforce System is growing in its ability to generate new revenue to support the system's infrastructure to improve employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities. It might also be reflective of increased collaborative support to Iowa’s businesses in their successful employment of workers with disabilities. There have been many disability initiatives implemented by Iowa’s workforce boards over the last ten years, and the promising strategies developed by these efforts has buoyed the growing success recognized by the workforce system in responding to Iowans with disabilities. The use of Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) in the Centers are key to their establishment as ENs, through the facilitation that they provided to the local partnership. The key components of increasing success for Regional Boards as ENs are: 1)Maintaining a disability Subject Matter Expert (SME) or DPN in the operation of the Skills Development Team, as a universal resource to all programs, businesses and job seekers, and EN facilitator; 2)Connecting the membership team and the the SME as disclosure occurs. 3)Maintaining ongoing service engagement and problem solving by the Skills Development Team; 4)Enhancing the Work Incentive Planning and Assistance services across the state of Iowa; and 5)Developing new partnerships and strategies to support workforce boards in achieving stronger outcomes with job seekers who do not fare well in the traditional labor exchange process. If you have questions about the Ticket to Work program, and the response of Iowa’s Regional Workforce Investment Boards in regard to this partnership, please contact Doug Keast at (515) 281-9045, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Urban Institute just issued a Fact Sheet, "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Counters High Unemployment," July 2011 The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) currently reaches 45 million people, which is an increase of 69 percent since the current economic recession began. This fact sheet discusses how SNAP caseloads and unemployment have increased both nationally and by state. Authors provide a map of the United States, which shows the concurrent increase in SNAP and unemployment across the country. For more information, please see: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412365-supplemental-nutrition.pdf
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has identified two main factors for the deficit in STEM workers in the U.S. First, the STEM labor force is rapidly turning over as baby boomers retire. Second, too few U.S, students are preparing for STEM careers, especially engineering. Each of these is occurring while the U.S. business community is calling for a doubling of the number of annual STEM graduates by 2015. In addition to graduates with bachelor’s degrees, there will be a need for more STEM technicians with associate degrees and certificates. Unfortunately, many U.S. students arrive at a decisive point in their education without the requisite foundational skills to pursue these opportunities. A recent report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, "Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century,"posit that career and technical education is an essential component in attempts to enhance the employability of American students. This can be assisted through the adoption of career exploration, career clusters, career pathways, rigorous programs of study, and the integration of academic learning, career education, and technology. In addition, encouraging students to pursue STEM pathways early enough in their schooling will help to build interest in STEM careers, leading them to acquire the academic preparation essential for higher- level positions in these occupations. The issue of promoting STEM training and employment is critical for persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are under-represented in STEM training and careers.
'Disability Data in National Surveys, Final Report, Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), Inc., August 22, 2011. MPR has just released this comprehensive report to assess the need for developing and implementing another disability survey data collection effort. It has data from every major survey (over 40 surveys) that includes disability data. The Report was prepared for the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced $21,166,560 in funding for seven states under the Disability Employment Initiative to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults who are unemployed, underemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The initiative is jointly funded and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy. This round of funding is the second under the Disability Employment Initiative, which now supports 16 state projects. The new grants are part of cooperative agreements with California, Hawaii, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin to implement exemplary employment services for individuals with disabilities in the public workforce system. The states with continuing grants under the initiative are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.
Recognizing the importance of transportation in serving their customers, several of the WIBs, One-Stop Career Centers, and Disability Program Navigators have developed and implemented effective solutions to connect their customers to the workplace. This Webinar highlighted these successful strategies and demonstrate: (1) how the workforce investment system can leverage diverse federal funds to support local transportation to employment and training activities; (2) transportation options currently available to serve the targeted service groups; (3) models the workforce investment system and service providers can replicate; and (4) how the workforce investment system can work with community partners to facilitate access to transportation resources, to connect its customers to training and jobs.
As of July 2011, there is a 40 percent gap between the employment rate of people without disabilities and that of people with disabilities. The Disability Employment Initiative, or DEI, is a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy and its Employment Training Administration to facilitate systemic change in the workforce system in order to “increase the effective and meaningful participation of people with disabilities in the workforce” (DOL, 2010). One year ago, nine states were awarded DEI grants and set forth to change policy, practices, and, ultimately, culture, as they relate to the employment of people with disabilities. In tandem with this effort, a comprehensive evaluation was launched to maximize this opportunity to learn from each state’s implementation of the DEI. As DEI progresses, the evaluation will also be able to answer key questions related to the initiative’s outcomes and impacts. This first synthesis report on the Evaluation of the Disability Employment Initiative reviews DEI evaluation activities through July 31, 2011.
This presentation covers the following overview: 1. The DEI Evaluation Design; 2. Six Primary Research Questions; 3. Partnership and Collaboration Objectives of the DEI Evaluation Team; 4. Grantees’ Direct Link to the DEI Evaluation: State Evaluation Liaisons; 5. DEI Data System; and 6. DEI/SSA Match.
This tool, developed by the One-Stop Ticket Success Project, provides a basic overview of Social Security disability benefits and the impact of employment on both cash and medical benefits. It can be used both by One-Stop Career Center staff to provide guidance to customers, as well as a handout for customers. It is intended to provide basic information that will help allay concerns individuals may have regarding benefit issues, and in turn provide encouragement to participate in Ticket to Work. The handout makes clear that benefit experts should be consulted for more comprehensive information. This tool can be used as is. However, it is suggested that Workforce Investment systems and One-Stop Career Centers add additional information to the flyer, including their specific Medicaid threshold level, and contact information for the local Work Incentive Planning and Assistance project and similar resources.
This tool, developed by the One-Stop Ticket Success Project, is intended as a template for use by One-Stop Career Centers and workforce investment systems in creation of recruitment flyers for the Ticket to Work. The intent is that Workforce Investment systems will use this template as a starting point, and add to it language specific to the One-Stop Career Center, and in addition format it according to their marketing material standards, with the addition of agency logos, graphics, etc. This flyer would then be utilized as part of orientation packets for all customers, as well made available in reception areas and resource libraries. Part of the underlying purpose of this flyer is to encourage individuals to self-identify that they are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and are eligible for Ticket to Work.
This needs assessment tool, developed by the One-Stop Ticket Success Project, is to be used at the beginning of the technical assistance process to determine current One-Stop capacity to serve individuals under the Ticket program, and identify areas to be addressed for the workforce investment system to successfully operate as an Employment Network. In using this tool, the overall goal is to gain a sense of the general operation of the workforce investment system/One-Stop, as well as specific areas pertinent to services for customers with disabilities and the Ticket to Work. A key objective is determining how the Ticket program can be integrated within the existing service and administrative structures.
The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) just issued Data Note, No. 34, 2011, "Setting Higher Employment Expectations for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities" Integrated employment is a critical goal because it leads to greater economic self-sufficiency, social inclusion, and personal satisfaction. Unfortunately, high schools do not always include integrated employment as a primary goal in the transition plans of students with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Moreover, in some cases sheltered employment is listed as the primary goal. Only 53% of students with intellectual or developmental disabilities had integrated employment listed as a primary goal in their transition plans, and 10% had sheltered employment listed as a primary goal. However, a substantial number of students who did not have integrated employment as a primary goal transitioned to work after high school. The relatively high number of students who worked despite not having integrated employment as a primary goal in their transition plans indicates that high schools may underestimate the employment potential of some students. At the same time, setting goals is not enough. The high number of students who did not progress to work—despite having had integrated employment as their primary goal—indicates that more needs to be done to assist students’ transition to employment.
This tri-fold color brochure, developed by the One-Stop Ticket Success Project, provides Ticket holders with all the basic information they will need to understand the purpose of the Ticket to Work Program. The brochure may be printed and distributed as is, or One-Stop ENs may use it as a template to create a brochure tailored for their clients.
Topics covered: What is the Ticket?; The Ticket payment structure; Ticket assignment and development of Individual Work Plans; Service delivery and integration within the One-Stop system; Placement and wage verification; Post-placement follow-up; Tracking and MIS systems. http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/p68174667
Topics covered: Incorporating the Ticket message into intake, orientation, and outreach; Maximizing self-identification and dealing with disclosure concerns; Using data matching to identify Ticket holders; Creating a clear referral process; The Ticket assignment discussion: critical elements for successful engagement; Potential Ticket customers: who to target. http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/p75486908
The willingness of businesses to hire One-Stop Ticket customers is essential for success under the Ticket to Work. This webinar discussed strategies for working with employers to maximize job opportunities for Ticket customers. It includes an overview of best practices in hiring of people with disabilities from the employer perspective, and how these can be applied within the One-Stop environment, and with Ticket customers. http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/p9p6x7cprjc
On October 21, 2011, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,issued a publication, entitled, "The Current Services Baseline: A Tool for Understanding Budget Choices." When governors and legislative bodies put forward state budget proposals, they almost always recommend changes in state policies, such as increases/reductions in the number of people eligible for state services, alterations in formulas used to fund schools/local governments, changes in staffing levels, etc. To understand the potential fiscal impact of these policy changes, policymakers and the public need to know how they and the dollar amounts budgeted for them compare to a state’s current practices. Without a published current services baseline, such a comparison is next-to-impossible. A current services baseline is a reality check in the budget process.It indicates what the state would have to spend on a given program, such as health care for poor children, property tax reductions for senior citizens, or economic development assistance to businesses, in order to maintain the program at its current level, in the absence of any policy changes. It reflects the impact of factors that cause year-to-year variations in the cost of providing a given service and the number of people who use it, such as inflation, changing wage levels, population growth, and economic and demographic shifts, as well as enacted policy changes that have yet to take effect. A current services baseline deliberately excludes the impact of proposed policy changes, such as changes in per-pupil school funding or Medicaid eligibility. This approach allows policymakers and the public to compare the baseline to a proposed or enacted budget allotment to see whether the budget reflects either a spending cut or a spending increase. Such clarity is especially important at times when states are struggling to maintain a balance between revenues and spending levels, as they are expected to do it for the next several years.
Income Security: Older Adults and the 2007-2009 Recession, GAO-12-76 October 17, 2011. The recession of 2007 to 2009 has been the most severe in this country since the 1930s. After adjusting for inflation, gross domestic product declined by 5.1 percent and the national unemployment rate peaked at 9.5 percent. While the recession officially ended in June 2009, our economy has experienced a weak recovery, with unemployment still above 9 percent. While the recession has affected all age groups, older adults--particularly those close to or in retirement--may face a greater burden because they may not have the same opportunities to recover from its effects. Older workers are less likely to be unemployed than workers in younger age groups, but when older workers lose a job they are less likely to find other employment. The Report examines: (1) What changes have occurred in the employment status of older adults, generally those 55 and older, with the recession? (2) How have the incomes and wealth of older adults in or near retirement changed with the recession? (3) What changes have occurred in the costs of medical care, the purchasing power of Social Security benefits, and mortality rates for older adults in recent years? Since 2007, unemployment rates doubled and remained higher than before the recession for workers aged 55 and older. While these rates were not as high as for other age groups, of more concern is that once older workers lose their jobs they are less likely to find other employment. In fact, the median duration of unemployment for older workers rose sharply from 2007 to 2010, more than tripling for workers 65 and older and increasing to 31 weeks from 11 weeks for workers aged 55 to 64. In addition, the proportion of older part-time workers who indicated they would prefer full-time work nearly doubled during this time.
This webinar featured a presentation from Bryan Stone, Executive Vice President, and Lisa Parlapiano, Disability Program Navigator from the WorkSource in Jacksonville, Florida, where the Ticket to work program has been used with great success. Topics included: • The role of leadership in implementing a successful Ticket Project • Strategies for outreach to Ticket Holders • Serving Ticket holders in the One Stop • Retention strategies for successful Ticketholders • Incorporation of Ticket within existing One-Stop systems http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/p19et5kg8q6
The National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center has published, "The Great Recession and Serving Dislocated Workers with Disabilities: Perspectives from One-Stop Career Centers and Rapid Response Coordinators." In considering the scope of long-term unemployment, and the disproportionate unemployment for people with disabilities, NTAR sought to gain a better understanding of the extent to which people with disabilities who had lost their jobs were seeking services from the public workforce system, and to identify strategies, if any, being used at the state and local levels to help these workers reconnect with the labor market. The first section of the report describes the methodology that NTAR Leadership Center researchers used to study a set of research questions. The second section reviews the empirical literature on strategies that have been tried to return dislocated workers to work. The third section discusses the findings obtained from interviews with state and local workforce professionals. The final section includes findings, as follows: 1.Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) report that One-Stop staff are serving greater numbers of older workers and older workers with disabilities; 2.DPNs report that One-Stop staff are serving greater numbers of people with non-visible disabilities, many of whom do not disclose their disability; 3.One-Stop staff are seeing greater numbers of people with mental and behavioral health disabilities; 4.DPNs and Vocational Rehabilitation staff occasionally participate in rapid response activities; and 5.States have implemented a variety of strategies to promote their customers' disclosing whether they have a disability, including displaying information about available resources/ accommodations, outreach to people with disabilities at job fairs, rewriting intake forms to encourage disclosure, and DPNs.
In June 2011, the National Technical Assistance And Research Center (NTAR) issued, "Moving TANF Recipients with Disabilities to Work: Examples of State Strategies." A substantially higher proportion of TANF recipients have physical and/or mental disabilities. TANF recipients, especially those with disabilities, have significant challenges to getting and keeping a job. This Information Brief examines the successful strategies that states have used to assist TANF recipients with a disability to secure and retain employment.