WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the availability of $1,850,000 to fund a cooperative agreement to manage and operate the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center on the Employment of People with Disabilities.
The center will increase the commitment and capacity of employers to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities by:
- analyzing employer research, policies and practices related to disability employment;
- researching effective employer engagement strategies; and
- developing and providing outreach and technical assistance to targeted employers, such as federal agencies, federal contractors, small businesses and state governments.
"ODEP's work is about strengthening America's workforce through diverse perspectives and ensuring that people with disabilities have equal opportunity to contribute their skills and talents," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "Employers want the best from their employees, and a key strategy is to adopt workplace policies and practices that encourage people to bring their best selves — their whole selves — to work."
To be considered eligible for this cooperative agreement, an applicant must be a business membership association, an institution of higher education, an employment service provider or a national disability-serving organization. Applicants are also required to have partnerships in place with entities from each of the other eligible applicant categories, as well as with a top-tiered business school and a state policy association. A technical panel will review the applications to assess the significance, value and viability of the proposed project; the organizational capacity and quality of key personnel; the budget and resource capacity; and the quality of the management and evaluation plans.
ODEP provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on the employment of people with disabilities.
The full announcement for this cooperative agreement opportunity (SCA-14-06), including eligibility requirements for applicants, can be found at http://www.grants.gov or http://www.dol.gov/odep/. Applications will be accepted until Monday, Aug. 11.