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Assistant Secretary Martinez Celebrates NDEAM with Employers in Virginia and Wisconsin

Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA, observed National Disability Employment Awareness Month on October 23 by holding a training event for human resource professionals, hiring managers and supervisors. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez kicked-off the half-day event, updating participants on resources they can use to recruit, retain and advance qualified people with disabilities, including veterans. Then on October 28 Assistant Secretary Martinez was in Milwaukee, WI, where she spoke to employers at an NDEAM event sponsored by Wisconsin’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The event was held as part of the division’s “Business Services Initiative,” a pilot program to strengthen partnerships between vocational rehabilitation and state employers.

Assistant Secretary Martinez Contributes to DOL’s Books that Shaped Work in America

In honor of its Centennial in 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, developed a list of Books that Shaped Work in America. Many notable people have participated, including former secretaries of labor, authors, academics and many more. Recently, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez contributed three books to the collection: Workforce of One by Susan Cantrell and David Smith, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, and David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. “As a nation that prides itself on industriousness, it’s not surprising that we’ve long been attracted to books with work and workers as central themes,” noted Martinez.

Department of Labor Joins Social Security Administration for Twitter Chat

Posting in English and Spanish, staff from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Office of Disability Employment Policy joined an hour-long Twitter Chat hosted by the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program on October 24. Nearly 140 advocates, employers and organizations tweeted about DOL’s Section 503 rule, what it means for employers and for Social Security disability beneficiaries, online resources, and useful statistics. The chat also featured ODEP’s new “Who I Am” public service announcement emphasizing the value and talent people with disabilities bring to America’s workplaces. The online discussion generated nearly 750 public posts using the hashtag #DEChat and left 28,107 impressions on Twitter feeds on the day of the event.

LEAD Center Releases Policy Brief on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Public Law No. 113-128) aims to improve federal workforce development programs and provide new opportunities to advance economic self-sufficiency for millions of Americans with and without disabilities. WIOA repeals and supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The LEAD Center has created a summary of the major amendments to Titles I and IV of the Workforce Investment Act from a disability perspective, focusing on those provisions in the legislation pertaining to workforce development and vocational rehabilitation systems of particular applicability to individuals with disabilities.