DATE: November 06, 2000      NO: 01-21

CONTACT:  James Beck  PHONE: (907) 269-3569

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release


VOCATIONAL REHAB AWARDED $900,000 WORK INCENTIVE GRANT

Money to Advance Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $900,000 to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to enhance Alaska’s One-Stop job centers for the disabled community. Alaska is one of 23 states to receive a grant from the $20 million Work Incentive Grant program.

"Nearly one in five Americans has a disability," Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan said. "This grant will go a long way to improve Alaska’s job centers to better meet the needs of this large pool of talented workers and promote the full integration of Alaskans with disabilities into all aspects of the workplace."

The grant will be used for an 18-month project to make One Stop Career Centers more physically accessible and to train job center staff to work with people with disabilities and address their barriers to employment. The project will, among other things:

  • Provide supports to job center staff and individuals with disabilities as they move through the job center system allowing them to take best advantage of available resources to achieve their employment goals.
  • Assess and expand on existing technologies in each job center, such as disability-friendly computer software and TTYs, and report findings on ways the technology can be made more useful for people with disabilities. The report will include an implementation and training plan.
  • Institute economic development activities in the Job Centers operated by Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation agencies. This includes cash grants for capital improvements in existing businesses that agree to hire individuals with disabilities on a long-term basis, as well as joint funding of individuals with disabilities embarking on self-employment endeavors.
  • Publish a reference manual to provide succinct, useful information about disability-related needs and services to Job Center staff.

In making the award, President Clinton called these grants a means of drawing on the talents of all our citizens. "These grants will expand the ability of One Stop Career Centers to deliver services to people with disabilities and widen their options for advancement in the workforce," the President said.

For more information, contact James Beck, Program Coordinator, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

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