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Grantees

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration: Disability and Rehabilitation Services

  • Funding Amount: $13,935,839.00 (H421D220002)
  • Supplement Amount: $230,000
  • Project Director: Theresa Koleszar
  • RSA Project Officer: Karin Grandon
  • Project Title: Supported Employment+: A Comprehensive Employment Services Package to Increase Competitive Integrated Employment 
  • Project Website: https://seplus.invrtraining.com/ 

Abstract

Indiana’s project addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities and barriers to competitive integrated employment by building capacity at the state and local levels. The project will implement and evaluate a comprehensive services package with four organizations and seven subminimum wage employment sites representative of Indiana’s demographics. The systems approach is guided by key partners and stakeholders at state and local levels and uses evidence-based supported employment practices along with  research about family education and involvement, peer support, social security work incentives, training, technical assistance, and coaching.

Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Abstract

The InVEST Project is an innovative, three-component wrap-around model for assisting individuals with disabilities, including those considering or currently engaged in employment at subminimum wage, their families, and employers, to move from subminimum wage employment to competitive integrated employment. The project will provide SWTCIE participants and designated employers with an employer-based model, including embedded employer liaisons and employment specialists to facilitate communication, create a smooth hiring process, and provide on-the-job supports to ensure success. An interdisciplinary and collaborative resource team will anticipate and respond to the SWTCIE participants’ employment-related needs.

Texas Workforce Commission: Vocational Rehabilitation

Abstract                                                  

The Texas Beacons of Excellence (TBE) project will use a three-pronged approach to help subminimum wage earners with most significant disabilities attain competitive integrated employment outcomes. First, TBE will partner with in-demand businesses to identify local career opportunities and enhance employers’ capabilities to hire, train, and retain qualified persons with disabilities. Second, TBE will collaborate with public and private employers with Section 14(c) certificates under the Fair Labor Standards Act, to adapt their business models to emphasize customized and supported employment arrangements. Third, TBE will create a pipeline from high school to competitive integrated employment for students with most significant disabilities to reduce the number of students who will choose subminimum wage employment.

Florida Department of Education: Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Funding Amount: $13,151,555.00 (H421D220005)
  • Supplement Amount: $230,000
  • Project Director: Jan Pearce
  • RSA Project Officer: Karin Grandon
  • Project Title: Florida Arts to Competitive Integrated Employment (ArtCIE)
  • Project Website: Coming Soon

Abstract                                                 

The Florida Arts to Competitive Integrated Employment (ArtCIE) Project’s primary goals are to increase the number of adults with disabilities transitioning from subminimum wage employment to competitive integrated employment and the percentage of students and youth with disabilities contemplating subminimum wage employment that enter competitive integrated employment. ArtCIE will offer opportunities to at least 1,000 individuals with disabilities; create a dual customer career exploration model with innovations in peer mentoring, work experience, virtual reality modules, and business engagement; and provide training for 14(c) certificate holders, individuals, families, school personnel and employers. ArtCIE will expand partnerships with Florida’s WIOA core partners, Employment First partners, the University of South Florida, Kennedy Center’s VSA Arts, Griffin-Hammis, The Able Trust, Policy Works, The Arc of Florida, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. 

Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency: Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Funding Amount: $3,729,740.00 (H421D220006)
  • Supplement Amount: $230,000
  • Project Director: Sharon De Mille
  • RSA Project Officer: Karin Grandon
  • Project Title: CREATE: Coordinated Resources for Employment, Apprenticeships, and Transition Engagement
  • Project Website: Coming Soon

Abstract                          

The CEST Project, a project jointly sponsored with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Institute on Human Development and Disability at the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Department of Education, will develop and evaluate an innovative model for reducing the use of subminimum wage in select pilot sites in Georgia. The project includes critical factors to ensure overall project success including personnel development and technical assistance to replicate and imbed the model in multiple sites, and initiatives to address broader underlying issues related to the current use of subminimum wage in Georgia, setting the stage for public policy changes to grow an expectation of full wage employment for people with disabilities.

Connecticut State Department of Aging and Disability Service: Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

  • Funding Amount: $13,943,946.00 (H421D220007)
  • Supplement Amount: $230,000
  • Project Director: Mark Henry
  • RSA Project Officer: Diandrea Bailey
  • Project Title: Connecticut Pathways to Integrated Employment (CT/PIE)
  • Project Website: www.ctpie.org

Abstract                                              

The Connecticut Pathways to Integrated Employment (CT/PIE) will help people with disabilities currently working or considering subminimum wage employment make the choice to prepare, secure, and sustain competitive, integrated employment in growing career clusters. CT/PIE will create viable, sustainable options through a model that builds on existing resources to align consumer assessment and career preparedness activities with structured customized training and employment programs, individualized supports and wraparound services. The Connecticut BRS model demonstration project will create resource teams throughout the state; establish pathways to competitive integrated employment in the areas of essential workers, Green Jobs, and transportation; form collaborative agreements with local agencies to support recruitment, training and business partnerships; efforts; develop partner workgroups and community of practice to design and implement CT/PIE and promote informed choice; deliver individualized supports and services to participants, including the use of person-centered plans; and develop relevant training and toolkits to enhance replicability of the model. 

Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

  • Funding Amount: $13,829,686.58 (H421D220008)
  • Supplement Amount: $230,000
  • Project Director: Donna Bonessi
  • RSA Project Officer: Karin Grandon
  • Project Title: Real Pay for Real Jobs Education and Outreach, Partnership Development, Provisions of Individualized Services, and Capacity Building (RPRJ EPIC) Project
  • Project Website: Coming Soon

Abstract                                              

The Department and its partners, including an all-inclusive advisory workgroup, will assist individuals with disabilities who have been employed at or are contemplating subminimum wage employment to transition to competitive integrated employment. The project will develop integrated resource teams, community academies, value based performance contracting, training and technical assistance, and leverage previous initiatives to assist 14(c) employers to develop, implement, and sustain policy and system changes to provide opportunities for competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities. The project will also assist individuals with disabilities to participate in state employment, and to make informed decisions regarding their employment choices.

Illinois Department of Human Services

  • Funding Amount: $13,943,946.00 (H421D220009)
  • Supplement Amount: $230,000
  • Project Director: Rahnee Patrick
  • RSA Project Officer: Karin Grandon
  • Project Title: From Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment of Illinoisans with Disabilities: An Innovative & Collaborative Project Partnership (SWTCIE Illinois)
  • Project Website: Coming Soon

Abstract                                      

This SWTCIE project will address the need to expand opportunities for Illinoisans with disabilities to obtain high-quality competitive integrated employment that leads to economic security and assist employers to fully include them in the workforce. SWTCIE Illinois will increase opportunities for Illinoisans with disabilities to transition from subminimum wage employment to competitive integrated employment and redirect individuals contemplating subminimum wage employment for the first time. In collaboration and coordination with the multiple project partners, SWTCIE Illinois will work with a minimum of six 14(c) certificate holders with accessible transformation business models, develop evidence-based practices for widespread dissemination; and address challenges associated with accessing and supporting individuals with disabilities as they pursue, engage in, and sustain competitive integrated employment including coordinating wrap-around services and strategies to support full community integration.  

North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Abstract                                            

North Carolina’s SWTCIE project will form a stakeholder engagement advisory council comprised of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families, community service providers, and Department of Health and Human Services partners to create a shared vision, values, goals and desired outcomes and drive the selection  of prioritized demonstration models for implementation and evaluation during the project period. Project sites will provide an enhanced array of evidence-based employment services and at least four support services along with targeted outreach to employers in three of North Carolina’s growth industries. NC-SWTCIE will engage 500 individuals with I/DD in the demonstration models, of which 300 will move from non-competitive employment work settings to competitive integrated employment settings.

New York State Education Department: Adult Career and Continuing Education Services: Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Funding Amount: $13,943,946.00 (H421D220011)
  • Supplement Amount: $230,000
  • Project Director: Linda Schramm
  • RSA Project Officer: Karin Grandon
  • Project Title: New York Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment (NY SWTCIE)
  • Project Website: Coming Soon

Abstract                                        

Promoting the Advancement of Competitive Integrated Employment (PACIE) will leverage the power of a peer facilitated model, through independent living centers (ILCs), to deliver an array of supports leading to competitive integrated employment, including customized employment, pre-employment services, independent living services, benefits planning, self-advocacy, assistive technology, and vocational rehabilitation services. PACIE will incorporate a broad, geographically dispersed, six-county cohort of sites including two rural, two suburban, and two urban regions building upon current partnerships (e.g., Office of Special Education partnership structure of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Centers, Boards of Cooperative Education (BOCES), and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts) to open new doorways to competitive integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities either in or contemplating subminimum wage employment. PACIE will offer lessons learned and strong evidence for dissemination nationally to expand the reach of the project.

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities: Vocational Rehabilitation

Abstract                                                   

Works4Me will focus on essential jobs and the arts to bridge the skills gap for adults with disabilities moving from subminimum wage employment to competitive integrated employment. Specifically, this project will increase awareness of competitive integrated employment options, the median number of hours worked and hourly wages, and participation in vocational rehabilitation  services, including paid internships. Works4Me will focus on workplace readiness, work incentives counseling, integrated paid work experiences, and wrap-around services. In addition, OOD will ensure families are engaged and individuals with disabilities are provided with the information needed to make informed choices on available programs, services, and providers.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Abstract                                          

The Go MN! project will offer people with disabilities in or contemplating subminimum wage work settings opportunities to explore careers with businesses in the transportation industry. The project will adopt the Progressive Employment Model as a dual-customer strategy to connect students, youth, and adults across multiple counties in northeast Minnesota, the metropolitan twin cities, and southwest Minnesota with work experience opportunities in the transportation industry. The project seeks to increase the number of adults engaged in and youth contemplating subminimum wage employment who apply to the VR agency for services, the number of jobseekers with disabilities who have work experiences in the transportation industry, the number of partnering businesses in transportation, and ultimately, the number of adults and youth with disabilities who transition from subminimum wage to competitive integrated employment and meet workforce needs of the transportation industry.

California Department of Rehabilitation

Abstract                                                 

California’s project seeks to increase the number of individuals with disabilities (adults, students, and youth) currently employed in, or contemplating entering subminimum wage employment, who will obtain competitive integrated employment. The California SWTCIE project is a multi-agency collaborative with an innovative design that will provide a wide array of services and supports for participants and family members that will address the historical challenges that are faced by individuals that are currently working in, or have traditionally been diverted to, subminimum wage employment from the secondary school system. The project represents an expansion of the College-to-Career programs in North Orange County and San Diego County in California, which provide an ideal environment for project services and community integration as they are located on the college campuses. Participants can pursue academic or career technical education that can lead to a recognized credential, or they can choose to pursue other pathways to competitive integrated employment at any time during their participation. Services include but are not limited to supported education, pre-vocational and vocational skills training, employment services (with a focus on customized employment), support and wraparound services, and services to business. In addition, a family-to-family support system and a peer mentoring network will be established to provide participants with support.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Abstract

Iowa’s Blueprint for Change project will advance and improve systems so that Iowans with disabilities have opportunities for competitive integrated employment that lead to economic security. The objectives of the project, include establishing a coalition of diverse stakeholders to develop, pilot, refine, and implement collaborative systems change models that support Iowans with disabilities who are employed or contemplating employment at subminimum wage to move into competitive integrated employment; using the U.S. Department of Labor’s recognized Direct Support Professional Registered Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship  programs as a model to recruit, train, and retain interested Iowans with disabilities; increasing the delivery of services for transitioning youth with disabilities; facilitating an increase in expectations for competitive integrated employment among Iowans with disabilities, leading to improved economic security; and aligning public policies, funding, and practices that support competitive integrated employment as the first and preferred outcome for all Iowans with disabilities.