From October 2010 through September 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded grants to 55 projects in 30 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities through the Disability Employment initiative (DEI). DEI was jointly funded with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and administered by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

Thanks to DEI, Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) across the country have served on the front lines to help strengthen the capacity of American Job Centers (AJC) to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

As AJC services have been forced to move into primarily virtual and remote formats, workforce systems across the country, including those that were a part of DEI, have begun implementing new and creative ways to continue providing quality service delivery that includes customers with disabilities. To help put a spotlight on these innovations, WorkforceGPS is expanding its Seen & Heard series to highlight how DEI has helped the public workforce system adapt to this new environment while continuing to ensure full access and inclusivity.

(New) Drive Thru Job Fair – In New York’s Otsego County, Barbara Ann Heegan, CEO of the Otsego Chamber of Commerce partnered with Alan Sessions, the DEI Disability Resource Coordinator and the Chenango-Delaware-Otsego Workforce American Job Center to hold a “Drive-Thru Job Fair” that not only complied with safe social distancing guidelines, but also kept accessibility in mind from start to finish.