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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ODEP News Release: [07/19/2012]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble or Mary Brandenberger
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667 or x4651
Release Number: 12-1472-NAT

US Labor Department announces grant opportunity to manage, operate national center for preparing youth with disabilities for employment

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the availability of a $1.1 million grant to fund a cooperative agreement to manage and operate the National Technical Assistance and Demonstration Center on Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Employment. The center will build capacity within and across youth service delivery systems to improve employment and postsecondary education outcomes for youth with disabilities.

"We must invest in youth in order to have a strong, capable future workforce. Through the center, the Labor Department is committing to supporting youth as they transition to adulthood and the world of work," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.

The center will continue to build upon ODEP's previous technical assistance efforts. It will provide technical assistance, training and information to organizations operating youth programs funded by the Workforce Investment Act, as well as current and former Labor Department grantees, to aid them in integrating evidence-based, effective practices for improving transition results for young people with disabilities who are enrolled in their programs. Additionally, the center will use ODEP's Guideposts for Success — available at http://www.dol.gov/odep/categories/youth — as a transition framework.

The center will have three areas of focus: career exploration, management and planning; youth development and leadership; and professional development. Applicants must recognize that youth, families, educators, workforce professionals and other stakeholders need to work together to increase employment expectations for youth with disabilities.

The full announcement for this grant opportunity, including eligibility requirements for applicants, can be found at http://www.grants.gov or http://www.dol.gov/odep/. Applications will be accepted until Aug. 17.