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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Nearly $19 Million to Projects Designed To Keep Injured or Ill Employees in the Workforce

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Labor's Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) today announced nearly $19 million in grants to eight state agencies to identify new, replicable strategies to help those who develop a potentially disabling condition remain at or return to work.

The primary goal of RETAIN demonstration projects is to help Americans who are injured or ill remain in or return to the workforce. Early coordination of healthcare services and employment-related supports and services is a critical component of RETAIN. By testing and evaluating early intervention approaches, RETAIN aims to validate and expand the implementation of evidence-based strategies to accomplish this goal.

"Each year, millions of Americans leave the labor force because of an injury or illness," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "Regardless of whether these injuries or illnesses occur on-the-job or off-the-job, the impacts of not returning to work can be significant and long-lasting on individuals and their families. Retraining and returning to work is an important goal, and these funds do assist that effort."

When an illness or injury forces a worker to exit the labor force, the loss also affects employers and many levels of government. RETAIN is based on the premise that - with timely, coordinated, and effective supports - many workers could remain in their jobs. To test economically sustainable solutions, the President's Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 budgets included funding for the RETAIN demonstration projects. RETAIN is led by the Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), in partnership with the Department's Employment and Training Administration and the Social Security Administration.

ODEP works to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities by developing and influencing policies and practices. For more information on ODEP and these grant awards, visit

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Award Amount

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services


Washington State Department of Employment Security


Kansas Department of Commerce


California Department of Employment Development


State of Vermont


Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development


Connecticut Department of Labor


Kentucky Office of Employment and Training


Office of Disability Employment Policy
September 26, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Bennett Gamble