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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ODEP News Release: [09/30/2009]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667
Release Number: 09-1196-NAT

U.S. Labor Department awards cooperative agreement to establish national technical assistance center for employers on people with disabilities

Cornell University institute selected to lead consortium

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has awarded a cooperative agreement to Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute, School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Ithaca, N.Y., to establish a national technical assistance center for employers on employment of people with disabilities. The purpose of the center will be to conduct innovative research, assist ODEP in developing demand-side policy, and share best practices with employers on the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities.

"Employers must create workplace cultures in which employees with disabilities are as fully integrated and valued as those without disabilities," said Assistant Secretary for Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez. "The national technical assistance center will be designed to identify how employers can change expectations and open the path to good jobs for people with disabilities."

Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute, School of Industrial and Labor Relations will receive $1.6 million to lead a consortium for the center, which will include the AFL-CIO Center for Green Jobs, the Altarum Institute, the Conference Board, the Institute of Educational Leadership, the National Business and Disability Council, Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center and the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

The cooperative agreement was awarded as a result of a competitive process and has a 12-month period of performance.

ODEP provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on the employment of people with disabilities. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/odep.