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News Release

U.S. Labor Department awards nearly $1.9 million grant to establish National Technical Assistance Center on Transition and Employment for Youth with Disabilities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) today awarded a 24-month cooperative agreement for $1,850,000 to the Institute for Educational Leadership's Center for Workforce Development in Washington, D.C., to establish a National Technical Assistance Center on Transition and Employment for Youth with Disabilities.

"It is essential that youth with disabilities receive the support they need to stay in school and succeed in the workplace, so that they can realize their dreams and ambitions for the future," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "This nearly $1.9 million grant is to help ensure that youth with disabilities graduate from high school and get the assistance they need to continue their studies or enter the workforce."

The purpose of the National Technical Assistance Center will be to build the capacity of workforce development, economic development and educational service delivery systems to ensure that youth with disabilities graduate from high school and either enter employment or continue their education. A consortium led by the Center for Workforce Development will develop and promote quality collaborations and service coordination among agencies, programs and service providers at the national, state and local levels.

Through the new national center, the consortium will provide technical assistance to a minimum of three competitively selected states currently implementing individual learning and graduation planning strategies to ensure that policies and practices respond to the needs of youth with disabilities. It will conduct research, disseminate information and serve a wide range of stakeholders on topics relevant to improving postsecondary outcomes for youth with disabilities. Additionally, the consortium will advance youth-centered planning, development and leadership opportunities.

The other members of the consortium include the National Youth Employment Coalition, Washington, D.C.; the PACER Center, Minneapolis, Minn.; the Center on Education and Work at the University of Wisconsin — Madison; and the University of Minnesota's Institute for Community Integration in Minneapolis.

The Center for Workforce Development was selected as the lead entity of the consortium from grant applications submitted in response to a solicitation by the Labor Department.

ODEP is leading a 21st century federal response to the historic underemployment of people with disabilities. In collaboration with other government agencies, public and private employers, and additional stakeholders, ODEP facilitates the development and implementation of innovative policies and practices necessary to achieve a fully inclusive workplace. ODEP's work primarily falls into three categories: employers and the workplace; workforce systems; and employment-related supports, which include education and training, health care, reliable transportation, affordable housing and assistive technology.

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

Office of Disability Employment Policy
August 30, 2007
Release Number