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News Release

US Labor Department awards more than $1 million to manage, operate national center for preparing youths with disabilities for employment

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $1.1 million grant to the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C., to manage and operate the Office of Disability Employment Policy's new 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 youths with disabilities.

"Through our investment in this center today, we are laying the groundwork to ensure that youths with disabilities enter the 21st century workplace with the skills and experiences they need to succeed," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.

The center will build upon ODEP's ongoing efforts to promote policies and practices that improve transition outcomes for youths, including those with disabilities. It will have three areas of focus: career exploration, management and planning; youth development and leadership; and professional development. 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 transitional results for young people with disabilities who are enrolled in their programs. The center will work in collaboration with federal, state and local agencies across multiple systems, including education, workforce, juvenile justice, foster care, transportation, mental health, vocational rehabilitation and others, on effective practices and issues related to the transition of youths.

Additional information about ODEP can be found at

Office of Disability Employment Policy
September 10, 2012
Release Number