Discussion Topics

Have a question, a challenge, or a strategy to share?  Provide your thoughts and opinions by replying to a thread that interests you.  Use the discussion topics to stay connected to opportunities for learning and the newest developments in the Disability and Employment Community of Practice.

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Any advice provided in this e-mail and/or discussion thread represents an informal opinion of the author. The content of this discussion does not represent the official opinion or position of the U.S. Department of Labor, or any other federal or state agency. If you would like a formal opinion, please contact the appropriate jurisdiction through official channels.

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Access and the Workforce Development System

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American Job Center (AJC) Accessibility

One of the ways that the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) reforms improve service delivery to individuals with disabilities is through promoting physical and programmatic access. State and Local Plans must describe how the AJC will comply with the nondiscrimination requirements regarding physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology and materials, including appropriate staff training and support.

A recent report (January 2017) from the US Department of Labor, Evaluating the Accessibility of American Job Centers for People with Disabilities , measured the accessibility of the AJC system to people with disabilities and makes recommendations for improvements.
  • To what degree does your AJC provide accessible services to individuals with disability?
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Americans with Disabilities Act: Facts for Features

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services. Each year on the anniversary of the ADA, the US Census Bureau Facts for Features provides a demographic snapshot of the U.S. population with a disability and examines various services available to them. The statistics come from various Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering differing periods of time.
  • How will you celebrate the anniversary of the ADA?
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Americans With Disabilites Act: Facts and Features
Posted On: 09/21/2017 at 02:04 AM
Author: Jayson Gleneck

Are you part of the Real Economic Impact Tour?

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Celebrating Disability Inclusion

Reflecting the important role that different perspectives play in workforce success, this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is "Inclusion Drives Innovation." Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

If you are thinking “What is NDEAM,” then you need to visit DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy to learn more about this yearly campaign, which dates all the way back to 1945! Once you learn, or, hopefully, if you are already aware, then ask yourself “Am I NDEAM'ed Up”? What will I be doing during the month of October (when NDEAM is observed) to help celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate others about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents?
  • So, what are you doing for NDEAM?
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Customer Flow Scenarios: A Novel Approach to Staff Training

The US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration in collaboration with partners released storyboards, AJC Customer Flow Scenarios featured on the WorkforceGPS Innovation and Opportunity Network to provide additional technical assistance to the frontline staff of the American Job Centers. Storyboards are visual storytelling tools to humanize policy issues combined with technical assistance.

Two of the five storyboards focus on disability issues from the framework of the customer and the employer. The customer framework is illustrated through Sam, who has an undisclosed disability and needs guidance on reasonable accommodations and other rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act while returning to the labor force. The employer framework is llustrated through Charles, who is an employer seeking guidance to hire and accommodate workers with disabilities and is seeking resources on employee retention.
  • Use these storyboards combined with the accompany resource links as a training tool for AJC staff and partners to help connect disability issues.
  • Share as a resource with customers to help them feel more comfortable sharing their situation.
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Disability Resources for WIOA Practitioners

High-quality service to individuals with disabilities is a critical goal of WIOA partners and practitioners. The Playlists: Disability Resources for WIOA Practitioners was developed as an interagency effort between the US Departments of Labor and Education. Each playlist, which is posted individually, is a carefully selected set of links to resources such as toolkits, reports, online courses, and videos on a specific topic related to improving service to individuals with disabilities.

The resources are intended for use by workforce development professionals, employers, rehabilitation services providers, adult educators, and other practitioners.
  • The Playlists can serve as a mechanism to educate peers at both the state and local levels on providing services to job seekers with disabilities.
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Discussion Topic 091317

Test

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Customer Flow Scenarios: A Novel Approach to Staff Training
Posted On: 10/02/2017 at 10:57 PM
Author: Jayson Gleneck

Have you met WorkforceGPS?

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), WorkforceGPS is an interactive online communication and learning technical assistance (TA) platform. This website, which offers resources and peer-to-peer connection, supplements other TA provided by ETA's national and regional staff to help the public workforce system, education professionals, and business.

On WorkforceGPS you will find: A committed community of public workforce system stakeholders; TA resources, online learning opportunities, and space to connect and collaborate with peers on topics that interest you; A tool for all your TA resources as you search, save, share, and navigate. Visit to learn more and to Meet WorkforceGPS .
  • Are you a member of WorkforceGPS?
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Increasing program, communication and physical access to Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Wagner-Peyser services for adult and youth jobseekers with disabilities

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Integrated Resource Team (IRT) Model. What strategies does your workforce system use to serve jobseekers with multiple challenges to employment?

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Introducing Assistive Technology to the American Job Centers

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Introducing Assistive Technology to the American Job Centers
Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
Author: Laura Gleneck

Learn about the ADA National Network

The Network consists of ten Regional ADA Centers located throughout the United States and an ADA Knowledge Translation Center. The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, state, regional and national levels.
  • Contact your Regional ADA Center to learn more about their free services including information and guidance from an ADA Specialist, ADA information, and training and outreach.
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Learn about the ADA National Network

The Network consists of ten Regional ADA Centers located throughout the United States and an ADA Knowledge Translation Center. The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, state, regional and national levels.

  • Contact your Regional ADA Center to learn more about their free services including information and guidance from an ADA Specialist, ADA information, and training and outreach.
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Leveraging Financial Education to Improve the Impact of WIOA

In December 2015, the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and New York – in partnership with Region 1 of the U.S. Department of Labor held a conference
focused on improving systems leading to enhanced financial behaviors and outcomes for youth and young adults.  Presentations highlighted how building the financial skills of WIOA youth can be part of a holistic approach to ensuring positive program outcomes.  The conference website includes tools, strategies and potential program models. 

  • How is your workforce leveraging financial education under WIOA?
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    Making the connection to Mental Health Services in your community

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    Making the connection to Mental Health Services in your community
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Mature Workforce

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    Mature Workforce
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Maximizing Productivity: Accommodations for Employees with Psychiatric Disabilities

    A psychiatric disability can impact various aspects of an individual's life, including the ability to achieve maximum productivity in the workplace. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in five people will experience a psychiatric disability in their lifetime, and one in four Americans currently knows someone who has a psychiatric disability. It is likely that most employers have at least one employee with a psychiatric disability.  Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws, most employers must provide "reasonable accommodations" to qualified employees with disabilities.  

    This section of the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy website includes examples of accommodations that have helped employees with psychiatric disabilities to more effectively perform their jobs along with additional resources.
    • How are you helping to raise awareness and support individuals with mental health disabilities?
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    May is Mental Health Awareness Month

    According to the Presidential Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month "Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need." The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) offers a Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems.

    According to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a state plan should include agreements with the state agency responsible for providing mental health services to improve coordination of resources to achieve employment in competitive, integrated settings.
    • How are you coordinating with your local and/or state mental health agency?
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    National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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    National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Disability Mentoring Day

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    National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Disability Mentoring Day
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:15 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    National Disability Employment Awareness Month Now One Week Away

    National Disability Employment Awareness Month Now One Week Away

    With only one week left to go, planning for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is in full swing across the nation. Reflecting the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, this year's theme is "#InclusionWorks." To download or order the official 2016 NDEAM poster and learn how different types of organizations can take part in the campaign, visit ODEP's NDEAM webpage.

    • …and please share what you are doing to celebrate!!!

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    Networking with your peers through Workforce Communities of Practice

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    Networking with your peers through Workforce Communities of Practice
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:15 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Disability Mentoring Day (DMD). How will you be raising awareness on the benefits of hiring job seekers with disabilities? What activities do you have planned for DMD?

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    One-Stop Career Centers and Integrated Service Delivery Approaches

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    One-Stop Career Centers and Integrated Service Delivery Approaches
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:15 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    One-Stop Operations Guidance for the American Job Center Network

    In January 2017, the US Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration issued a a Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) , which provides general guidance for the implementation of operational requirements under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) pertaining to the one-stop delivery system. Section 9.A of the TEGL shares examples of the AJC Certification process to include the following relative to customer flow.

    "The frequency and quality of cross-training from differing programs to share expertise about integrated customer flow, needs of specific populations, business engagement expertise, or understanding of different programs offered in the American Job Center and in the community."
    • The Disability Employment Initiative Collection Site hosted on WorkforceGPS provides examples of how AJCs and partners can support job seekers with disabilities and other multiple challenges to employment as well as the business community. Search for "Landing Page" to see topical areas of promising practices and effective strategies.

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    Preparing Teens with Disabilities for Employment after High School (What challenges do you face in reaching out to and assisting youth with disabilities to ensure they will be employable after high school? What strategies have you put in place?)

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    Progress on Mental Health

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    Promising Partnerships and Collaborations

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    Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity

    The US Department of Labor (DOL) has developed “Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide” to assist AJCs by providing promising practices that correlate with specific nondiscrimination requirements in Section 188 and the current Section 188 regulations. The promising practices are not necessarily mandatory in every case under Section 188 or the regulations but may be considered by AJCs for the purpose of ensuring universal access and equal opportunity.

    On December 2,, DOL published the final rule revising the regulations implementing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). A policy brief from the LEAD Center provides a summary of the final rule from a disability perspective . The brief highlight select provisions in order to assist people with disabilities and other interested stakeholders better understand the policies included in the lengthy rule.
    • Stay tuned for more opportunities to learn about the Section 188 Final Rule and how you can achieve universal access and equal opportunity.
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    Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity

    Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity

    The US Department of Labor (DOL) has developed Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide to assist AJCs by providing promising practices that correlate with specific nondiscrimination requirements in Section 188 and the current Section 188 regulations. The promising practices are not necessarily mandatory in every case under Section 188 or the regulations but may be considered by AJCs for the purpose of ensuring universal access and equal opportunity.

    On December 2, DOL published the final rule revising the regulations implementing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). A policy brief from the LEAD Center provides a summary of the final rule from a disability perspective . The brief highlight select provisions in order to assist people with disabilities and other interested stakeholders better understand the policies included in the lengthy rule.
    • Stay tuned for more opportunities to learn about the Section 188 Final Rule and how you can achieve universal access and equal opportunity.
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    Reasonable Accommodations

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    Registered Apprenticeship: A Career Pathway for American Workers

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    Resources for Serving Disabled Veterans through the Workforce System

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    Resources for Serving Disabled Veterans through the Workforce System
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Resources for Veterans

    Resources for Veterans

    On November 11th, we celebrate Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars and during this month, we will provide resources and information on supporting the employment needs of veterans and businesses that hire them. The WorkforceGPS Veterans’ Priority collection site is designed to enhance the workforce practitioner’s ability to provide services to veterans by offering one-stop for information on veterans’ programs, policies, and initiatives throughout the public workforce system.

    As an employer, you can visit the CareerOneStop Business Center for Veterans to find resources and information on hiring a veteran.

    • Share your go to resources for supporting the employment needs of Veterans?

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    Return to Work: Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet Series. What business strategies are you using to retain valued employees and to enhance the productivity of the workforce?

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    Return to Work: Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet Series.
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:14 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Strategies and Resources to Create a More Diverse Workforce

    Strategies and Resources to Create a More Diverse Workforce

    It’s one thing to say you are going to create a more diverse workforce that includes qualified employees who experience a disability and those with multiple challenges to employment, but it's another to know where you can access strategies and resources to help you do it. The Business 30-Second Training Series and Resource Guide was developed to provide both public and private businesses, human resource personnel, hiring managers and supervisors with relevant federal, state and local level information around their legal obligations. The guide also offers resources that can assist in identifying, funding, and implementing effective accommodation strategies, to create a more diverse workforce. Take the time to check them out!

    • Share your strategies and resources to create a more inclusive environment.
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    Strategies for Serving Disabled Veterans in the American Job Center

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    Strategies for Supporting the Mature Worker

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    Supporting Integrated Intake and Effective Case Management in the Workforce System – What tools and resources are you using to integrate intake processes and create high quality case management?

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    Taking Advantage of DOL Employment Services

    The US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) programs, resources and online tools help workers in all stages of the job and career development.  Available online resources include:  Assessing Yourself, Deal with a Job Loss, Explore Career Options, Find a Job, Gain Experience and Credentials, Know Your Rights as a Worker, Resources for Veterans, and Youth.
    • What employment services do you use:  CareerOneStop, MyNextMove, Worker Reemployment Portal, Job Corps, Jobs for Veterans Act or others?
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    Ten Employment Myths about the ADA

    Ten Employment Myths about the ADA

    Many employers misunderstand the Americans with Disabilities Act and are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of unfounded myths. This seventeen-minute video responds to concerns expressed by employers, explaining the ADA in common sense terms and dispelling myths about this often overlooked pool of well-qualified employees.

    • Check out more information and technical assistance on the ADA at ADA.gov!

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    Ticket_to_Work_and_Employment_Network_Resources

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    Ticket_to_Work_Employment_Network_Resources

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    Time for a 30-Second Training

    A Mental Health Awareness 30-Second training series that is! May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a great opportunity to share a series of 30-Second Trainings on mental health developed by the National Disability Institute's Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Training and Technical Assistance Team. A 30-Second Training is designed to increase awareness and promote knowledge around mental health that includes useful information and resources for follow up. So, check them out and let us know what you think?

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    Training Resources on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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    Training Resources on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Transportation-to-Work Solutions

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    Transportation-to-Work Solutions
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Understanding and defining disability. What are good disability etiquette principles?

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    Understanding and defining disability.
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:15 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Using the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) (How have you used the JAN website and/or telephone services? What were you able to accomplish or learn with the assistance of JAN?)

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    Using the JAN, How have you used the JAN website and/or telephone services?
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:14 PM
    Author: Susan Famulare

    Webinar: The Workforce Connection Initiative: SSA and DOL Partnership in Action

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    What Accommodation Policies and Practices does your One-Stop have in place?

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    What are your best practices for hiring people with disabilities?

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    What are your best practices for hiring people with disabilities?
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:15 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    What does “Universal Accessibility” mean for people with disabilities in the One-Stop Career Center?

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    What does Section 188 mean to WIOA services?

    The effective date of the Section 188 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Regulations (29 CFR Part 38) Final Rule is January 3, 2017. Section 188 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, or, for beneficiaries, applicants, and participants only, citizenship status or because of an individual's participation in a program or activity that receives financial assistance under Title I of WIOA. This means that Section 188 prohibits discrimination against individuals in any program or activity that receives financial assistance under Title I of WIOA as well as by the one-stop partners listed in WIOA Section 121(b) that offer programs or activities through the one-stop/American Job Center system.
    • To learn more about what Section 188 means to WIOA services, visit to read the fact sheet and get answers to frequently asked questions.
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    What Is in store for 2013?

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    What is your go to source for your recruiting, hiring and training needs?

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    What Strategies is your One-Stop Using to Meet Customer Needs for Employment-Related Transportation Service?

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    What tools and resources do you have in your WIA youth services toolbox?

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    What tools and resources do you have in your WIA youth services toolbox?
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:15 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    What type of financial literacy/education programs does your One-Stop Offer?

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    Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

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    Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
    Posted On: 06/09/2014 at 07:16 PM
    Author: Laura Gleneck

    Workforce System Strategies Implementation Tools

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    WorkforceGPS Communities and Collections

    Communities offer you the chance to find resources on specific topics, programs, or initiatives--all while engaging with peers on those matters that most interest you. For example, check out the Disability and Employment Community of Practice.

    Collections are curated resources on a specific topic, program, or initiative to make it easier for you to find information that helps you with strategies, planning and implementation. Visit the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Collection Site and search for “Landing Page” to find some tools and resources to help expand the capacity of AJCs to improve employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities.
    • What is your go to WorkforceGPS Community and/or Collection Site?
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    Workplace Accommodation Toolkit

    Workplace Accommodation Toolkit

    The Job Accommodation Network has developed an online tool to help businesses successfully recruit, hire and retain applicants and employees with disabilities. The Toolkit provides inclusive practices at various phases of the employment life cycle for hiring managers and supervisors, human resource professionals, accommodation consultants, and allies of employees with disabilities.

    • Add this to your collection of go to disability and employment resources and let us know other ideas to help build a more inclusive workforce?

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    Workplace Accommodations: Business Concerns (What are the biggest concerns you hear from businesses in terms of implementing accommodations? How do you help address those concerns?)

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    Workplace Solutions

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