The Boot Camp model helps small teams develop, practice, and apply new skills to real-world workforce challenges. The Disability & Employment Boot Camp supported six state/local teams in a seven-month design thinking process. Through technical instruction, project-based learning, and customized coaching, the teams explored challenges employers and individuals with disabilities encountered when seeking meaningful employment. This page provides resources designed for and by the Boot Camp teams.

The six teams, Rome, Georgia, Northern Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, Main, Minnesota, and Winchester, Virginia, gained new skills and expanded their stakeholder relationships resulting in positive outcomes. These resources are shared so that all may benefit from their experience.

Boot Camp Design Thinking Resources – The Boot Camp Teams employed key elements of design thinking such as empathy building, prototyping, and testing during the Boot Camp experience. This document outlines the steps each team progressed through to better understand challenges, engage stakeholders, brainstorm solutions, and test ideas before full implementation. Each section includes links to additional tools, tips, and strategies.

Boot Camp Strategies and Resources to Support Engagement – This document, developed by partner National Disability Institute (NDI), provides resources and strategies to support the six teams as they worked together to strengthen the American Job Center network's capacity to support individuals with disabilities to enter, stay in, or return to the labor force. The resources are broken down by general disability employment resources and then by state/region.

Voices of Experience Webcasts – Listen to three Boot Camp Team Leads capture their reflections about the benefits, impact, and lessons learned while engaged in the Boot Camp.

  • Marci Jasper, Business Consultant, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Minnesota
  • Joshua Howe, Workforce Development Program Coordinator, Maine State Workforce Board, Maine Department of Labor
  • Melissa Gard, Disability Resource Coordinator/EO Officer, WorkOne Northern Indiana

Boot Camp Team Narratives – Each Boot Camp team documented their journey in a descriptive narrative. Narratives include the team members, their initial and refined challenge statements, insights from empathy interviews, the process for identifying and prototyping a solution, and next steps for continuing the work.

Rome, Georgia                              Maine

Northern Indiana                          Minnesota

Louisville, Kentucky                      Winchester, Virginia