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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

ODEP News Release: [09/21/2006]
Contact Name: Peggy Abrahamson or Peter Hong
Phone Number: 202-693-7909 or 202-693-4676
Release Number: 06-1604-NAT

Labor Department Awards Nearly $5 Million in Grants to Advance Self Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

WASHINGTON —U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today announced grants of nearly five million dollars for pilot projects and research to develop systems models designed to increase self-employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

"Self-employment and entrepreneurial pursuits could provide many individuals with disabilities good opportunities to optimize their talents and earn a good living for themselves and their families," said Secretary Chao. "These $5 million in grants further President Bush's New Freedom Initiative goal of helping workers with disabilities pursue their career dreams and give our nation the benefit of their participation in the workforce."

The grants include a cooperative agreement for $1,499,767 to Virginia Commonwealth University, which will be partnering with Griffin-Hammis Associates LLC, to establish a National Self-Employment Technical Assistance and Research initiative. This initiative will provide direct technical assistance to the Sub-National Projects of Systemic Innovation and Technical Assistance; develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for increasing the capacity of existing systems for providing self-employment services to people with disabilities through training, technical assistance, and research; conduct research and analysis of resources currently available to persons with disabilities for pursuit of entrepreneurship; and analyze structures currently in place that either promote or impede the expansion of business ownership in the disability community. The cooperative agreement will be funded for 36 months.

The grants also include cooperative agreements to Sub-National Projects of Systemic Innovation and Technical Assistance in the amounts of $1,199,959 to the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education in Anchorage, Alaska; $1,044,957 to the Onondaga County Department of Social Services in Syracuse, N.Y.; and $1.2 million to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovations in Tallahassee, Fla. Grantees will use these funds to research, test, and evaluate innovative models of self-employment service delivery that can be adopted nationwide. The cooperative agreements will be funded for 36 months.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.