WASHINGTON – Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Vermont have been selected to participate in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) Disability Inclusive Workforce Policy Learning Collaborative. Through the Learning Collaborative, the NGA Center will support participating states as they develop plans to expand employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities.
The Learning Collaborative is supported through the NGA Center’s participation in the U.S. Department of Labors’ State Exchange on Employment & Disability – a unique state-federal collaboration that supports state and local governments in adopting and implementing inclusive policies and practices that lead to increased employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.
In October 2023, the NGA Center hosted a Disability Inclusive Workforce Policy Summit in Washington, DC. The Summit marked the 10th anniversary of former Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s NGA Chair’s Initiative, A Better Bottom Line, which culminated in a blueprint for Governors on advancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The Summit also came during National Disability Employment Awareness Month and brought together interagency teams from seven states to highlight Governors’ leadership on disability inclusive workforce policy and workshop their policy priorities on this key issue.
As Governors work to confront an extremely tight labor market, efforts to reduce barriers to workforce participation are increasingly critical for developing a skilled workforce and filling in-demand jobs. This includes expanding inclusive, accessible career opportunities for people with disabilities, who historically experience higher rates of unemployment than people without disabilities. Through their participation in the Learning Collaborative, the six state teams will receive customized technical assistance from the NGA Center to advance policy solutions that meet these challenges. Facilitated peer learning opportunities and assistance from national subject matter experts will also help to inform their action plans.
Along with the Learning Collaborative, the NGA Center is offering additional states the opportunity to join a disability inclusive workforce policy Community of Practice. States who join the Community of Practice will have access to select resources and peer learning opportunities developed for the Learning Collaborative.
For more information about the Learning Collaborative and the NGA Center’s work to support Governors in achieving their disability employment policy goals, please contact Jack Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.