For more information, go to

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified or Combined State Plans Now Available
The U.S. Departments of Labor and Education have announced the availability of the approved Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified or Combined State Plans. The public and workforce system stakeholders may view, download, or search the State Plans for information on how states are undertaking the implementation of WIOA. The search feature provides users a method for searching any or all State plans based on a topic, word, or phrase within a section, multiple sections, or the entirety of a State plan, and to compare strategies and practices. Under WIOA, the Governor of each State and outlying area must submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the U.S. Department of Labor that outlines a four-year strategy for the State’s workforce development system. States submitted their four-year WIOA State Plans for Federal review and approval in 2016. The U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture, whose programs are addressed, provided review and approval for each State Plan for the period July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. The WIOA State Plans provide valuable information about the various investment, programs, and initiatives underway to serve our jobseekers, students, and businesses across the country.

Workforce Recruitment Program Launches 2017 Database
The 2017 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database was launched on December 19, 2016. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense, the WRP is the premier resource of college students and recent graduates with disabilities, from over 330 campuses nationwide, who are seeking summer or permanent employment in federal agencies and private companies worldwide. Anyone with a .gov or .mil email address can access the 1,950 students in the WRP database directly by signing up as an employer at Every candidate is Schedule A eligible, and the database is searchable so employers can find job candidates with the specific skills they require. Employers in the private and non-profit sectors can gain access to the WRP through the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN).

CDE and AAPD to Host Twitter Chat on Disability Mentoring — January 12, 2017, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
In honor of National Mentoring Month and “I Am a Mentor Day,” ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) and its member organization the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) are hosting a Twitter chat on Thursday, January 12, 2017, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. Titled “#DisabilityMentors: Supporting the Career Success of Young People with Disabilities,” the chat will feature special guest Derek Shields, co-chair of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition. Don’t miss this chance to engage with Derek and others in an online discussion about career mentoring and its role in the employment success of people with disabilities, especially those who are new to the workforce. To participate in the conversation, please use the hashtag #DisabilityMentors.

PEAT Blog Explores Inclusive and Accessible Workplace Cultures
The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) has issued a blog post recapping its recent PEAT Talk webinar, “Fostering a Culture of Inclusion and Accessibility in the Workplace.” The piece offers insights from the event’s featured speaker, Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie, who credited inclusive workplace practices with creating a sustained cycle of learning in her company, along with an accessibility mindset that extends to Microsoft’s products.

EARN Releases Latest Newsletter
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its December 19 newsletter, featuring information on a free online course for employers on inclusive talent acquisition, the new Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability, the Henry Viscardi Achievement Award recipients, and more.

LEAD Center Publishes LEAD On! Quarterly Newsletter
LEAD On!, the LEAD Center’s quarterly e-newsletter, highlights news and innovations in employment, policy, and economic advancement for people with disabilities. Included in this issue are stories on the WIOA Section 188 Final Rule, a national dialogue on promoting inclusive career pathways, a Provider Transformation Issue Brief on implementation of Employment First practices, LEAD Center webinars, and more.

USBLN Seeks Mentors for the 2017 Rising Leaders Mentoring Program
The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) Rising Leaders Mentoring Program (RLMP) works with college students and recent graduates across the country to connect them with mentors in business settings in preparation for their transition from school to employment. The USBLN, an ODEP Alliance partner, is currently recruiting mentors for the 2017 RLMP. They are seeking business professionals who are willing to participate in a 6-month mentoring program for college students and recent graduates with disabilities, including veterans. The upcoming RLMP will run from March through August of 2017.