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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [08/09/2010]
Contact Name: Michael Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-1096-NAT

US Department of Labor announces $22 million in grant funds for Disability Employment initiative

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a solicitation for grant applications for approximately $22 million to fund programs that will improve educational, training and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

"At the U.S. Department of Labor, we are committed to the goal of 'good jobs for everyone' — in its entirety. After all, America's workers are the nation's number once resource.They are also our wisest investment," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis."To be truly competitive in the global economy, we must leverage and foster the professional skills and talents of every single worker, including the millions of working-age people with disabilities across our country."

The new Disability Employment initiative is a joint project of the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy. Programs will serve eligible individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, including those receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Funds will be awarded to state workforce agencies, which will collaborate with workforce investment boards and local areas.Grant awards will range from $1.5 to $6 million each to be spent over a three-year period. Cooperative agreements will be used to foster service delivery through the public workforce investment system for job seekers with disabilities.Programs will build upon the Labor Department's Disability Program Navigator initiative and other model service delivery strategies.

These grants align with the department's goal of helping workers in low-wage jobs, or those out of the labor market, find pathways into the middle class. Improvements in employment services for people with disabilities through these grants will help combat the unacceptably low employment rates experienced by this group.

The complete solicitation for grant applications is available at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/. Visit the Employment and Training Administration's http://www.doleta.gov home page to learn more about the range of Labor Department employment and training programs.