Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

More Than 260 Qualified Students with Disabilities
Placed in Jobs in First Month of Labor Department WRP Program

WASHINGTON—More than 260 college students and recent graduates with disabilities have been placed in summer and permanent jobs since the Labor Department’s Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) was announced in April, U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao said today.

States that have placed the most students through WRP include Maryland, Virginia, New York, Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Also according to WRP statistics, about one-third of the students placed in jobs under the Labor Department program identified themselves as “minority.”

“President Bush, through his New Freedom Initiative, has placed a priority on recognizing the untapped employment potential of Americans with disabilities, and the need to expand job opportunities available to them,” Secretary Chao said. “The WRP is succeeding in that mission and giving students with disabilities the break they need to launch successful working careers.”

Roy Grizzard, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), which helps administer the program, said, “WRP is a key resource for potential employers to find qualified students and recent graduates who are eager to enter the workforce and prove what they can do.”

ODEP, in cooperation with the Department of Defense, offers employers a complimentary CD-ROM database of qualified students by field of study, state or school, in disciplines ranging from computer sciences and business, to communications engineering and office administration. Searches generate candidate profiles, academic and demographic data, and contact information from applications recruited by the program from more than 180 colleges and universities in over 40 states and territories. The CD-ROM and additional information are available from, or by contacting ODEP at (202) 693-7880.

Other resources ODEP offers to business to employ people with disabilities are the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and the Employer Assistance and Referral Network (EARN). JAN is a toll-free information and referral service on job accommodations for people with disabilities. It can be reached at 1-800-526-7234 or at EARN, a national toll-free telephone and electronic information referral service, helps employers in locate and recruit qualified workers with disabilities. EARN can be reached at 1-866-Earn Now (1-866-327-6669) or via its Website (

ODEP also encourages employers and employees to access, a cross-government portal on disability easily accessible to all Americans.

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

Office of Disability Employment Policy
May 27, 2003