The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) released a white paper, States Expand Employment and Training Opportunities for People with Disabilities. The white paper outlines the employment challenges faced by many people with disabilities and the opportunity for governors to help people with disabilities overcome barriers to employment and successfully enter and remain in the workforce. These strategies fell into four priority areas: (1) preparing people with disabilities for careers, (2) supporting and retaining employees with disabilities, (3) engaging employers in education and training and (4) coordinating services and supports across state agencies.
The white paper is a result of NGA Center’s participation in the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED) initiative, supported by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). As part of this collaboration, NGA Center served as an intermediary organization, helping governors’ offices and state officials develop strategies to take advantage of pools of untapped talent and ensure that workforce development and hiring policies are inclusive of people with disabilities. NGA Center hosted a learning lab meeting in May 2018 that was attended by teams from six states. The white paper describes strategies that emerged from the learning lab as best practices in participating states and other states across the country.