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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ODEP News Release: [04/02/2012]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble or Gloria Della
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667 or x4679
Release Number: 12-0618-NAT

Assistant Labor Secretary Kathy Martinez to host April 2 press teleconference on new employment program for individuals with significant disabilities

WASHINGTON — Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, will host a media teleconference on April 2 to discuss the Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program, a Labor Department grants initiative designed to facilitate the full inclusion of people with significant disabilities in employment and community life.

Three states — Iowa, Oregon and Tennessee — will receive the first round of grants through the program to assist with planning, policy development and capacity building. In addition to receiving technical assistance from national experts in employment of people with significant disabilities, they will receive mentoring from officials in the state of Washington, which also will receive a grant to mentor the selected states. "Employment First" aims to promote the development of state policies so that integrated employment is the first option of service for individuals with significant disabilities. Integrated employment refers to jobs held by people with disabilities in typical workplace settings in which the majority of individuals employed do not have disabilities, those with disabilities earn at least the minimum wage and they are paid directly by the employer.

WHO: Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy

WHAT: Media teleconference on Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program

WHEN: Monday, April 2 at 2 p.m. EDT

For dial-in instructions, members of the media planning to join the call
should contact Bennett Gamble or Gloria Della in the Labor Department's
Office of Public Affairs using the information above.