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
- 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
- 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