US Department of Labor seeks to help state, local governments expand Competitive Integrated Employment for people with disabilities
WASHINGTON – A joint communication by nine agencies within the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and the Social Security Administration encourages state and local governments throughout the nation to blend, braid and sequence funding to maximize resources proactively and improve Competitive Integrated Employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities.
CIE ensures individuals with disabilities are paid competitive wages and work in a community setting where most workers do not have disabilities. The newly released information builds on the Biden-Harris administration’s history of supporting efforts that lead to improved CIE outcomes and equity for individuals with significant disabilities.
A federal joint communication to state and local governments, “Resource Leveraging & Service Coordination to Increase Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities,” was sent by the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and Employment and Training Administration, along with HHS’ Administration for Community Living, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Education Department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration, and Office of Special Education Programs; and the SSA’s Office of Retirement and Disability Policy.
“With limited resources, a single government agency may find it difficult to provide the full range of services that meet all the needs of jobseekers with significant disabilities,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “This joint communication helps state and local agencies understand that resources can and should be leveraged and used as an effective strategy in making Competitive Integrated Employment a reality for those facing multiple barriers to employment.”
The joint communication also includes a set of frequently asked questions on leveraging resources.
“An economy is at its strongest when everyone, including individuals with disabilities, has the opportunity to obtain a good-paying job and advance their careers,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent Parton. “Advancing Competitive Integrated Employment ensures all workers benefit from economic growth. By sharing practical advice across state and local government systems, we can inspire creative solutions toward our common goal.”