U.S. Department of Labor Selects Five Organizations To Increase Employment for People with Disabilities
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has selected five National Provider Organizations (NPOs) to participate in its National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network (NEON) initiative to increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities.
Competitive integrated employment is work in typical community settings, where most employees do not have disabilities, and where the employer pays its employees directly at minimum or prevailing wages – whichever is greater. NPOs are membership associations for service providers at the state and local level.
“Partnership with provider networks is essential to promoting positive change,” said Office of Disability Employment Policy Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy. “The National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network initiative will help us better understand the barriers and, most importantly, solutions to increasing competitive integrated employment for individuals with significant disabilities.”
Administered by the department’s Office of Disability Employment (ODEP), the initiative has selected the following five NPOs:
- ACCSES, a Washington, D.C.-based network of more than 1,200 organizations serving people with disabilities across the U.S.;
- American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), a national, nonprofit trade association in Alexandria, Virginia, representing more than 1,600 private community providers of services to people with disabilities;
- Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), a national, non-profit membership organization in Rockville, Maryland, dedicated to Employment First, a vision that all people with disabilities have a right to competitive employment in an inclusive workforce;
- SourceAmerica, a Vienna, Virginia-based network of more than 750 community-based nonprofits that creates employment opportunities for a skilled and dedicated workforce of people with disabilities; and,
- The Arc of the United States based in Washington, D.C., the nation’s largest community-based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Each of the NPOs will receive intensive policy consulting; technical support; and peer mentoring to strengthen their service provider network’s capacity to help workers with disabilities prepare for and obtain competitive integrated employment.
In its first year, the NEON initiative will help NPOs to work with subject matter experts to develop an action plan to guide them in future years. Each NPO will also receive support to help five of their Local Provider Organization (LPO) members to develop individual action plans for increasing competitive integrated employment opportunities for the individuals they serve. Ultimately, NEON will support NPOs as they develop a national strategic plan to increase competitive integrated employment from the service providers’ perspective.
ODEP’s mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Learn more about ODEP and its work on competitive integrated employment.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.