Department of Labor Announces $69 Million in Grants for People with Disabilities

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Department of Labor Announces $69 Million in Grants for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced 4 new grants to support job opportunities for people with disabilities . Over $69 million is being set aside to support young people with disabilities in their job pursuits. The grants are designed to encourage innovative job programs.

The Impact on Young Adults

As we have written in the past, people with disabilities often have a hard time finding work. This grant program is designed to help ease the challenges young people face by means of new ideas and new pathways to the workplace.

The Bigger Picture of Employment

Having a job isn’t always about getting a paycheck. For young adults with disabilities, it’s a chance to claim independence, gain confidence, and contribute to their communities. Having an opportunity to pursue a career can be life-defining. Diverse workplaces are good for everyone. This program aspires to make this possible.

Driving Positive Change Through Innovation

But this funding initiative is more than just providing jobs. It’s about developing new approaches to job creation and support for people with disabilities. The program entitled “The Equitable Transition Models Demonstration Grants” (ETM) Project include providing comprehensive, coordinated services to enable low-income young adults with disabilities, ages 14 to 24, to successfully transition to employment.

Here are 5 key takeaways for organizations interested in applying for the Equitable Transition Models Demonstration Grants (ETM) Project:

  1. The first 12 months of the ETM Demonstration Grants will consist of planning and start-up activities, including the launch of small-scale pilot demonstrations. During the remaining four years of the project, grantees will expand the pilot demonstrations to full scale. (pg. 3)
  2. Applicants must describe their capacity to effectively manage and carry out the activities described. The project states “the application must demonstrate the applicants’ track record in collaborating with and providing technical assistance to entities to help improve transition and employment-related outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities.” (pg. 24)
  3. Applicants are expected to propose their own programs and plans for addressing all of the Good Jobs Principles through staffing, personnel, and support for employer engagement. (pg. 24)
  4. The required strategies for the ETM Project include providing comprehensive, coordinated services to enable low-income youth and young adults with disabilities, ages 14 to 24, to successfully transition to employment. (pg. 3)
  5. Before the actual grant is awarded, negotiations may take place about program components, staffing and funding levels, and administrative systems in place to support grant implementation. (pg. 39)

All proposed initiatives are expected to follow the Good Jobs Principles, as published by the Departments of Labor and Commerce. The principles include adopting a competitive wage scale, establishing more predictable work schedules, examining how benefits may be offered, and creating opportunities for career advancement.

In Summary

This program is a positive step towards offering disadvantaged youth job opportunities.

The deadline to apply for the Equitable Transition Models Demonstration Grants (ETM) Project is October 31, 2023. Applications must be submitted electronically on https://www.grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

For full grant details, please visit Grants.gov by clicking HERE 

Note: This article is based on the information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s official announcement on August 10, 2023.