Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.
About The CSG Center of Innovation
The CSG Center of Innovation is a national initiative launched in July 2018 to enhance CSG’s efforts to engage, inform and empower state officials through externally funded initiatives. The center leverages CSG’s considerable convening power and its demonstrated success in providing outreach and technical assistance to the states to acquire external funding for projects focused on CSG member priorities. The CSG Center of Innovation provides a convenient and effective platform to collaborate with these valued partners and leverage those partnerships to secure funding for joint initiatives. Rather than a think tank, the CSG Center of Innovation is a practical resource for state officials in all three branches of government. We offer:
- Objective, In-Depth Analysis of data and policy best practices to facilitate a better understanding of existing and developing issues and assess available and potential solutions.
- Connections among policy leaders, federal and non-profit partners, and subject-matter experts to exchange insights and build partnerships.
- Technical and Consulting Assistance to enable policy leaders to develop and implement forward-thinking solutions adapted to state and regional conditions and ambitions to improve the lives of people and the strength of communities and states.
- An Inclusive Policy Portfolio that supports diverse populations and policy concerns.
The State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) is a unique state-federal initiative that promotes the adoption of disability-inclusive state policy through an innovative partnership model. This formal collaboration, launched by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), helps state and local governments develop and implement meaningful policies and practices that lead to increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and a stronger, more inclusive workforce and economy. As part of the SEED team, CSG works with ODEP, Concepts, Inc., and other partner organizations, such as the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and Women in Government (WIG), among others, to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities.
The SEED initiative conducts research on policies and programs that can improve employment for individuals with disabilities, provides states with customized technical assistance and policy development, and identifies new and innovative programs and policies through convenings of policymakers, subject matter experts, practitioners, and community and business leaders. Since its inception in 2015, SEED has engaged state legislators, governors’ offices and agency leadership from 46 states and DC to enact more than 90 new laws, develop and mobilize more than 250 state legislative and executive-level disability champions, and sign six executive orders, including the establishment of a cabinet-level statewide task force. You can learn more about SEED on the Office of Disability Employment Policy State Policy website.
Disability Employment Policy at CSG
The CSG disability employment policy team works with state policy makers, federal agencies, individuals with disabilities, leading non-profits think tanks, and research institutions to identify policies and practices that can improve the quality and quantity of employment and training opportunities for individuals with disabilities. In this effort, CSG provides policymakers with customized research and policy analysis, training, facilitation, and hands-on implementation and technical assistance on topics that can reduce barriers to employment and help states create more inclusive work forces. Examples of our key partner institutions include the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, Cornell University, the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the National Conference of State Legislatures among others.
Disability employment policy projects at CSG include:
- State Exchange on Employment and Disability;
- The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth; and,
- KY’s Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN)
Paola Andújar is a Project Manager at The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation, where she oversees a portfolio focused on public sector apprenticeships and disability employment policy. Paola has demonstrated experience in public health, public policy, interstate collaboration, and technical assistance at the local, state, and national levels. She has collaborated with diverse stakeholders to improve systems for communities across the country. Prior to CSG, Paola worked at ZERO TO THREE National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, supporting early childhood mental health policy efforts. Ms. Andújar earned a M.S. in Health Science with a Community Health concentration from Towson University and a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University.
Rylea Luckfield is a Senior Policy Analyst at Council of State Governments and supports the State Exchange on Employment and Disability. Previously, she worked for American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Urban Institute, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. Rylea earned a B.A. in Linguistics from University of Missouri, an M.A. in Nonprofit and Civic Leadership at Drury University, and is currently pursuing an M.P.H. in policy at George Washington University.