April 15, 2015
Federal officials want existing job training
programs to better serve people with disabilities and they’re putting up
millions of dollars to make it happen.
The U.S. Department of Labor said this week
that $15 million is on the table for the effort. The new funding is intended to
be used by state workforce agencies to create “flexible and innovative
strategies” to grow participation of people with disabilities in
federally-funded job training programs.
“People with disabilities have enormous
contributions to make to our economy and our society, but they remain
disproportionately represented among our nation’s unemployed,” U.S. Secretary
of Labor Thomas Perez said. “We are working to change that by providing more
training options that prepare these workers for good jobs. These grants will
help build strong ladders of opportunity to the middle-class for these
Grants worth $1.5 to $2.5 million each are
expected to go to eight states to be used over a 42-month period, officials
said. Selected projects will include those focusing on each of three groups —
adults, young people ages 14 to 24 and those with significant disabilities.
Similar grants have been issued to 37 states
in recent years to improve accessibility at American Job Centers and train
staff at such centers on the needs of people with disabilities among other
efforts, the Labor Department said.
State workforce agencies have until June 11
to apply for the new funding.