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Request for Comments on WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements

The Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development are soliciting comments concerning a collection of data that will be used for unified and combined state plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements is a consolidated information collection that would implement sections 102 and 103 of WIOA (P.L. 113-128). The comment period is open for 60 days and closes on October 5, 2015. Any comments not received through the processes outlined in the Federal Register will not be considered by the departments.

The Impact of Web-Based Game Play on Soft Skills Education

The Office of Disability Employment Policy has published a fact sheet on “The Impact of Web-Based Game Play on Soft Skills Education.” As soft skills become more important to employers, it is necessary to include soft skills acquisition as an educational priority for youth to ensure greater preparedness for the workplace. This brief provides an overview of the existing research to date on educational games for youth, soft skills and educational games, and research on educational games for youth with disabilities.

ODEP Releases Report on Registered Apprenticeship Programs for People with Disabilities

A new report titled “Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Improving the Pipeline for People with Disabilities” provides the findings of a recent study conducted for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) discussing strategies and recommendations for including people with disabilities in apprenticeship programs. A Training and Employment Notice (TEN), “Expanding Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships to Create a Pathway to Good Middle Class Jobs for Youth and Adults with Disabilities,” was issued by the Employment and Training Administration and ODEP to distribute the report.

CNCS and ODEP Issue “Dear Colleague” Letter on Inclusive Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter, “Inclusive Service as a Pathway to Employment 25 Years after the Americans with Disabilities Act,” to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the ADA and its legacy of equal opportunity and inclusion. Two resources were highlighted. ODEP’s Youth Technical Assistance Center, the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, released “Fostering Inclusive Volunteering and Service Learning,” a guide for youth service professionals and others interested in facilitating youth engagement in volunteer activities. The second resource, the “Toolkit for AmeriCorps Alumni with Disabilities Transitioning to Employment,” developed by CNCS is a collection of resources regarding pre-employment and employment issues for people with disabilities, special programs, government services, and mentorship and networking opportunities.

Building a Trauma-Informed Nation: Moving the Conversation into Action

The Women and Trauma Federal Partners’ Committee will be holding a national event, “Building a Trauma-Informed Nation: Moving the Conversation into Action,” on September 29-30, 2015. This will be the third major event sponsored by the Women and Trauma Federal Partners’ Committee, and is designed to expand the conversation about trauma-informed approaches and create a national action agenda. This meeting will spotlight effective implementation of trauma-informed approaches in four major areas: education, health care, the justice system, and communities and congregations. Within each of these areas, workplace and employment approaches will be addressed. The main event will be held in Washington, DC at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Cesar Chavez Auditorium. Those who cannot attend can join virtually from amplifier sites across the country. Contact Mary Blake, co-chair, Women and Trauma Federal Partners’ Committee at for further information.

Want to Help Increase Disability Inclusion in the Workforce? Become a WRP Recruiter!

Attention federal employees! The Workforce Recruitment Program is currently seeking recruiters! WRP recruiters conduct interviews with students and recent graduates with disabilities nationwide in order to populate the WRP database, which federal agencies can then access to hire interns as well as permanent employees. Since 1995, more than 6,000 individuals have participated in the WRP, many of them going on to become full-time federal employees. As such, it is a key tool for increasing the inclusion of people with disabilities in the federal workforce.

LEAD Center Publishes Policy Update – Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update – Employment, Health Care and Disability provides policymakers, disability service professionals, individuals with disabilities and their families with information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and related topics, with a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The latest update features stories on a new U.S. Department of Labor guide for Section 188 compliance for American Jobs Centers, HCBS waiver changes in Washington State, Tennessee and Indiana, the recent WIOA Advisory Committee meeting and more.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) issued a special “ADA25” issue of its newsletter this week, featuring information on events held as part of the anniversary, DOL’s “ADA at Work” worker stories project and a list of “25 for ADA25 for Employers” resulting from the White House Summit on Disability Employment held earlier this year. EARN is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities, which is funded by ODEP under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center.

Workers with Disabilities Can Reach a Secure Financial Future

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant secretary of labor for employee benefits security, penned a DOL blog titled “Workers with Disabilities Can Reach a Secure Financial Future.” She discussed the Employee Benefits Security Administration’s (EBSA) Saving Matters Campaign, which is designed to provide workers with the information and tools they need to save for a secure retirement. “Many workers enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their jobs at a high level but lack understanding of how to manage their finances. Both EBSA and ODEP want to help people with disabilities get the information they need to take charge of their finances and make informed choices,” said Borzi.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to Host Disability Hiring Event

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will host a Disability Hiring event for Schedule A applicants and those candidates who have a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. SEC is seeking talented individuals for various positions at SEC Headquarters in Washington, DC. Applications will be received until 11:59 PM EDT August 10, 2015. Individuals found best qualified for the position(s) will be invited to interview with management officials at SEC Headquarters on September 1, 2015.