By Rachel Wright, Policy Analyst
Despite earlier evidence of higher unemployment rates among persons with disabilities compared to those without a disability, more recent employment data shows that two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, employment rates among people with disabilities have rebounded faster.
Continue reading “The American Rescue Plan Act: Utilization of Federal Funds to Bolster Employment Supports for Persons with Disabilities”
by Abeer Sikder
On November 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule that increases the hourly minimum wage to $15 for federal contract employees beginning January 30, 2022, up from the current rate of $10.95 per hour. The rule also eliminates the exemption for federal contractors with disabilities to be paid less than the minimum wage.
Continue reading “U.S. Department of Labor Announces Rule to Increase Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Employees”
State Exchange on Employment & Disability
Federal Legal and Policy Framework
Under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are authorized, after receiving a certificate from the Wage and Hour Division, to pay subminimum wages (SMWs)—wages less than the federal minimum wage—to workers who have disabilities “for the job being performed.” The certificate also allows the payment of wages that are less than the prevailing wage to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed on contracts subject to the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) and the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA).
Continue reading “Federal and State Subminimum Wage Legal and Policy Framework”
By Sean Slone
An Ohio vocational apprentice program championed by the governor is encouraging the hiring of individuals with disabilities in state government, program officials say. As National Apprenticeship Week is celebrated from November 15-21, the Ohio program’s early success, focus on disability inclusion, collaborative approach, and pandemic-era resilience may be worth a closer look for other states with the same goals.
Continue reading “Ohio Program Sees Success With Disability Inclusion, Preparation for State Government Careers”
By Sean Slone
Despite some obstacles early on in the pandemic, apprenticeship programs appear to have a bright future with states exploring a variety of strategies to strengthen an important career pathway for all, including individuals with disabilities. While apprenticeships have traditionally been limited to industries like construction, manufacturing and transportation, that is starting to change with states and employers offering opportunities in fields like state government, health care, information technology, and cybersecurity.
That is one of the conclusions of a new report from The Council of State Governments and the State Exchange on Employment & Disability titled, “The Future of Apprenticeship: Inclusion, Expansion, and the Post-Pandemic World of Work.”
Continue reading “Apprenticeships the Focus of New CSG Report, Upcoming Zoom Event”
First Episode Psychosis Webinar
The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth will host a webinar on “Funding Mental Health Service Delivery for Youth with First Episode of Psychosis: Using Resources Available through the Workforce Development System and American Rescue Plan” on August 24 at 2 p.m. ET. This webinar, and an accompanying issue brief on “Supporting Recovery for Youth with First Episode Psychosis via the Workforce Development System and American Rescue Plan,” will address effective practices and funds for state and local policymakers to support people who experience their first episode of psychosis. Speakers will discuss funding options including community mental health service block grants, elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds, American Rescue Plan funds and more.
Promoting high-quality employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities has long been a priority for governors, state agency leaders and state legislators. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many new barriers and challenges for workers with disabilities, and has amplified and accelerated many trends that were already leading to rapid changes for work, workers and workplaces. To promote a strong and equitable recovery, state leaders can work together to ensure that their workforce development ecosystems and economic recovery agendas are inclusive of and effective for people with disabilities. In this webinar, The Council of State Governments, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, and the National Conference of State Legislatures will discuss how state leaders can facilitate statewide coordination to center disability employment in workforce recovery efforts and share lessons learned through their engagement in the State Exchange on Employment and Disability.
The webinar will take place Tuesday, August 19th, 4-5pm EST.
Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8uxJchdKT9GRmVCgItms3A