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
This Power Point presentation developed in 2008 was presented during national transportation conferences on behalf of the Community Transportation Association of America. It provides some background on the Disability Program Navigator Initiative. Highlights the importance of access to transportation services for job seekers with disabilities. Provides some examples of how the Disability Program Navigators are involved in Transportation Coordination and Mobility Management Activities.
In view of the continuing need for transportation assistance and strained staff and budget resources, it is vital that One Stop Centers be able to leverage all currently available funding as well as all possible partnerships to serve their customers’ needs. The One Stop system is positioned to make significant strides in helping to forge transportation solutions, and there is much to be gained by a better-informed discourse among all stakeholders. This report, developed by the Community Transportation Association of America, is intended to be a foundation for that ongoing discourse and a forum through which One Stop Centers can share lessons learned and best practices. It includes reference to the impact of local areas that have Disability Program Navigators.
This document highlights some information on transportation initiatives and programs that can provide communities and One-Stop Career Centers with resources and suggestions to help customers address their transportation needs. The following resources from the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and the Federal Transit Administration’s United We Ride (UWR) program offer transportation options and strategies for the public workforce system to help bridge the transportation gap to employment for individuals with disabilities, older adults, low-income and others with challenges to employment.
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 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.
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
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.
On February 16, 2012, GAO 12-419T, GAO issued a Report entitled,"Innovative Collaborations Between Workforce Boards and Employers Helped Meet Urgent Workforce Needs." This testimony discusses collaboration between workforce boards, employers, and others. Workforce board officials and their partners in the 14 initiatives cited a range of factors that facilitated building innovative collaborations. Almost all of the collaborations grew out of efforts to address urgent workforce needs of multiple employers in a specific sector, rather than focusing on individual employers. The partners in these initiatives made extra effort to engage employers so they could tailor services such as jobseeker assessment, screening, and training to address specific employer needs. In all the initiatives, partners remained engaged in these collaborations because they continued to produce a wide range of reported results, such as an increased supply of skilled labor, job placements, reduced employer recruitment and turnover costs, and averted layoffs. While these boards were successful in their efforts, they cited some challenges to collaboration that they needed to overcome. Some boards were challenged to develop comprehensive strategies to address diverse employer needs with WIA funds. For example, some boards’ staff said that while their initiatives sought to meet employer needs for higher-skilled workers through skill upgrades, WIA funds can be used to train current workers only in limited circumstances, and the boards used other funding sources to do so. Staff from most, but not all, boards also said that WIA performance measures do not reflect their efforts to engage employers, and many boards used their own measures to assess their services to employers.
On February 13, 2012, the President announced the 2013 Budget Request for Career and Technical, and Adult Education. The budget for the Office of Voctaional Education & Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, represents an overall proposed increase of $1.7 billion, or of 2.5% in discretionary funding, for a 2.5% increase above the enacted FY 2012 budget. Three key themes are sounded in this budget: - College Costs: Ensuring Affordability and Quality in Postsecondary Education; - Teachers: Strengthening the Teaching Profession; and - Jobs: Aligning Job Training and Education Programs With Workforce Demands The budget provides $850 million for Race to the Top and $300 million in new resources to improve child care quality and prepare children for success in school. The budget funds improvements in the quality of postsecondary offerings, makes college more affordable, and helps achieve the president’s goal of the U.S. leading the world in college graduates by 2020. This will be accomplished by sustaining the maximum Pell Grant award, preventing student loan interest rates from doubling this summer, doubling the number of work-study jobs, making permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and providing new incentives for colleges to keep costs under control. The budget supports state and community college partnerships with businesses to build the skills of American workers.
The NTAR Center has recently released a report on Medicaid funding of employment supports and services for people with disabilities. recently released reports on Medicaid, Using Medicaid Funding to Support the Employment of People with Disabilities: A Federal Framework. State Medicaid agencies fund a range of supports and services for individuals with disabilities. As national public policy has recognized and emphasized the ability of individuals with disabilities to work, states have begun to integrate employment supports into the continuum of long-term care in Medicaid. This NTAR issue brief discusses the Federal legislative and regulatory framework for funding employment supports in Medicaid, and highlights examples of state innovations and best practices for using Medicaid to promote positive employment outcomes. The brief provides an overview of Medicaid eligibility, the types of benefits available under Medicaid, and the structure of Medicaid waivers. The brief then examines options for funding employment supports and services through Medicaid state plan and waiver services. The brief describes how service categories such as case management, habilitation, rehabilitation, and personal assistance can be used to finance services to directly and indirectly assist with the employment goals of individuals with disabilities. In conclusion, the issue brief notes that state policymakers have a range of options available to design initiatives that support disability employment, using Medicaid funds in combination with other federal and state resources.
The NTAR Leadership Center has recently released a report, Using Braided Funding Strategies to Advance Employer Hiring Initiatives that Include People with Disabilities, on using braided funding strategies to advance employment of people with disabilities Using Braided Funding Strategies to Advance Employer Hiring Initiatives that Include People with Disabilities. Many state and local disability employment services are operated by a number of different public and nonprofit agencies (e.g., the vocational rehabilitation system, the local school system, the One-Stop Career Center system, and many community-based employment service providers). These organizations often find it necessary to access funds from more than one program, agency, or funding stream. As a result, many program administrators and staff face the challenge of developing effective strategies to braid disability employment funding. This report profiles four employer-responsive programs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Connecticut that have implemented braided funding strategies to support hiring initiatives with key business partners. These cases demonstrate advantages to braided funding strategies, particularly where participating businesses are able to deal with a single point of contact for funding and disability employment services.
Learn how to develop effective partnerships in order to build Career Pathways in your community, region, or State. This newly released guide provides a step-by-step outline, with integral tools, that you can use when convening workforce, education, human and social services, employers, organized labor and other partners.
On April 16, 2012, The U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration(ETA0 announced the availability of approximately $20 million in grants to fund cooperative agreements that will improve educational, training and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. These grants represent the third round of funding through the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), a joint program of the Labor Department’s ETA and Office of Disability Employment Policy. “These grants are a wise investment in America’s greatest resource, our nation’s workers,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The mission of the programs awarded under these grants will be to improve services for people with disabilities so they can more easily and effectively participate in the workforce.” Grants will be awarded to state workforce agencies, which will collaborate with local workforce investment boards. Programs supported by the grants will build upon the Labor Department’s Disability Program Navigator Initiative and other models of service delivery strategies. The department anticipates awarding six to 10 grants, ranging from $1.5 to $6 million, to be spent over a three-year period. The complete solicitation for grant applications is available at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm. Prospective applicants are encouraged to view the online tutorial “Grant Applications 101: A Plain English Guide to ETA Competitive Grants” at http://www.workforce3one.org/page/grants_toolkit.
On April 17, 2012, DOL/ETA issued TEN No. 38-11, "Benefits of Collaborating Between State/Local Workforce Investment Boards and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program)." The purpose of this TEN is to encourgage the workforce system to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Commerce's MEP Program to provide assistance and support to small and medium-sized manufacturing firms with the ultimate goal of supporting economic growth while preserving and creating jobs.
On May 16, 2012, DOL/ETA issues Training and Employment Notice (TEN) No. 46-11, Announcement of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program Reference Tool. This TEN provides an array of valubale resources (Web sites) for workforce practitioners and others. Examples of state resources are included.
The Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, June, 2012, issued a new publication, "Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees." Excerpts from article in Inside Higher Eductaion Newsletter...The certificate is the odd man out in the debate over college completion. But the little-understood certificate is the fastest-growing form of college credential, and a key component of work force development. Those were among the findings of a new report, released today by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, that found that certificates make up 22 percent of all college awards, up from 6 percent in 1980... Growth in the earning of certificates has largely been driven by the labor market, as more jobs require college-based training. Certificates are earned through seat time in a classroom, the study notes, with more than half taking less than a year to complete. Industry-based certifications, which are often confused with certificates, are typically awarded based on tests. Over all, a certificate is the highest form of education held by about 1 in 10 American workers, according to the study, which collected and crunched data from several government sources. And certificate holders earn 20 percent more than workers who hold only a high school diploma. More surprising, however, is the finding that fully one-third of certificate holders also have an associate, bachelor’s or graduate degree. Such a large percentage suggests that workers are getting certificates to bolster skills or learn new ones in a tight job market. And people are going back to college for certificates throughout their careers, with a third of certificates earned by students over the age of 30.
On July 18, 2012, there was a Workforce3One webinar entitled,"Understanding the New Department of Labor Civil Rights Guidelines Governing Criminal Background Checks and Federally-Funded Workforce Development Programs." ETA Assistant Secretary was joined by DOL's Civil Rights Center and the Office of the Solicitor, as well as the National Employment Law Project, and the Oakland Private Industry, Inc. Reintegartion of fornerly incarcerated persons into communities is a priority for this Administration. Secretary Solis stated: "When someone serves time in our penal syutem, they should not face a lifetime sentence of unemployment when released..." DOL initiatives support reentry-Federal bonding protection for employers who hire people with a criminal record, reentry grants and programs and TEGL 31-11.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has released its Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch covering employment in fiscal year 2011. The report was prepared in accordance with Executive Order 13548 on Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. This order provides that the Federal government must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities. The order directs federal departments and agencies to improve their efforts to employ workers with disabilities and targeted disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring, and retention of these individuals. The report finds that by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2011, total permanent Federal employment for people with disabilities had increased from 187,313 in FY 2010 to 204,189, representing an increase from 10.7 to 11 percent. New hires who were people with disabilities totaled 18,738, representing an increase from 10.3 percent in FY 2010 to 14.7 percent in FY 2011. Additionally, there were 17,845 people with targeted disabilities working for the Federal government in FY 2011. Targeted disabilities include deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and genetic or physical condition affecting limbs and/or spine. In FY 2011, 1,247 people with disabilities were hired using the Schedule A appointing authority. The report provides data tables by Federal agency, and highlights cross-agency initiatives to meet the goals of E.O. 13548 and related executive orders. The report is available at http://www.opm.gov/diversityandinclusion/reports/disability/DisabilityReportFY11_07-24-12.pdf.
On August 13, 2012, DOL/ETA issued TEN 5-12, "Online Career Tools Updates and Virtual Demonstrations." This TEN announces ETA's suite of online career tools for jobseekers, students, workforce professionals, and businesses, including CareerOneStop, Certification Finder, the Worker Reemployment Portal, the Veteran Reemployment Portal, mySkillsmyFuture, My Next Move, My Next Move for Veterans, and the Healthcare Virtual Career Network.
The Partnrship for Workplace Mental Health just issued, the "Business Case for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Literature Review." There is a compelling business case for effective treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Access to quality mental health/addiction care - sometimes called behavioral health care - is essential because of the high prevalence of these conditions in the workplace and their impact on other health care costs and the corporate bottom line when left untreated. Thousands of clinical studies have shown a high degree of therapeutic effectiveness for mental health and substance use treatment and relapse prevention. There is solid evidence to support that businesses benefit from overall cost savings from medical and disability cost reduction and increased productivity when mental health/addiction treatment is provided. In the United States, 30 to 40 percent of the population experience mental health and substance use disorders at some point in their lives, with about half of these people (15% to 20%) requiring professional care each year. Close to ten percent of workers are classified as ?heavy alcohol users? who drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. The general prevalence of illicit drug use among U.S. workers is eight percent. There is also significant co-occurrence of mental disorders and substance disorders (up to 25%) and significant co-occurrence of mental and substance use disorders with other chronic medical conditions. Unlike most other costly health conditions, mental health and substance abuse disorders typically first take hold in adolescence or young adulthood and thus affect people in the prime of their working years.
The National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) will hold its annual Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, Sept. 10–16, 2012. The National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is designed to raise public awareness of adult education and family literacy, assist adult learners in need of literacy services, leverage local resources, and support increased access to adult education and family literacy programs. The NCL works to advance adult education, family literacy, and English language acquisition in the U.S. by increasing public awareness for the need to increase funding and programs; by promoting effective public policy; and, by serving as an authoritative resource on national adult education issues. Adult education supports our nation’s priorities: individuals with more education are more likely to get and keep jobs, lift themselves out of poverty, reduce healthcare costs and take better care of their families. Education also better equips adults to support their children’s education and break cycles of illiteracy and poverty; and, helping people attain the basic skills and training they need to reach their goals not only benefits them but also their families and the nation. Keenan offered keynote addresses covering OVAE priorities on college completion, career pathways, teacher effectiveness and high-quality instruction. Visit the NCL website for more information on the coalition’s work, and Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, and to access their new adult education fact sheet.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued the "Workforce Investment Act Employment Network (EN) Payment Agreement," under its Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (TTW) Program. The purpose of the Payment Agreement is to establish the terms and conditions under which state workforce agencies, state and local workforce investment boards, or American Job Centers (AJC), or AJC Operators can be paid as ENs for services provided to Social Security disability beneficiaries under the TTW Program. The Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration has implemented several efforts to expand the capacity of the public workforce system to serve persons with disabilities, including those receiving Social Security disability benefits, and to promote the employment of persons with disabilities. One of the major components of these efforts is to promote the public workforce system entities becoming active ENs (i.e., accepting Tickets and receiving payment for providing services to Ticket Holders). The new WIA EN Payment Agreement is the first time that the SSA has issued an EN Payment Agreement solely for the public workforce system. It is a result of the ongoing partnership between the Department and SSA to expand the capacity of the American Job Center network to serve persons receiving Social Security disability benefits and ultimately improve their employment outcomes, leading the way to economic self-sufficiency.
The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston published, "Description of Supported Employment Practices, Cross-System Partnerships, and Funding Models of Four Types of State Agencies and Community Rehabilitation Providers." This report presents research on supported employment (SE) funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to focus on vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency partnerships with other state entities, and sources and models for long-term funding. To conduct the research, ICI included a supported employment module into ongoing surveys of state VR agencies, state intellectual/developmental disability agencies, state mental health agencies, and state welfare agencies. The research also included additional analysis of data obtained from an ongoing survey of community rehabilitation programs relevant to supported employment. Additionally, ICI conducted case studies of SE partnerships in five states (Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Washington). These case studies were designed to build understanding of the range of practices that VR systems might use to ensure more successful transitions to long-term support through other resources.