On September 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor announced an award of $21,276,575 to nine states under the Disability Employment Initiative to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes of youth and adults who are unemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Disability Employment Initiative is jointly funded and administered by the department's Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy.
The Labor Department has entered into cooperative agreements with the following states to implement strategic approaches to support exemplary employment services for individuals with disabilities in the public workforce system: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. These projects build upon the department's Disability Program Navigator Initiative by hiring staff with expertise in disability and workforce issues. The grants also will support extensive partnerships, collaboration and services provided across multiple workforce and disability systems in each state. These involve state vocational rehabilitation services, mental health and developmental disability agencies, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant-supported activities, independent living centers, business leadership networks, and other community and nonprofit provider organizations.