Colorado Shifts to Skills-Based Hiring to Fill State Government Workforce Needs and Hire More Individuals with Disabilities

By Elise Gurney, Project Manager

State governments are facing unprecedented workforce shortages. Since 2010 there has been a steady increase in the rate of people leaving state and local government, which accelerated to a high of 11.7% amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 2022 there were 695,000 fewer people employed in state and local government jobs than before the pandemic. One strategy states have used to meet their workforce needs is skills-based hiring, where states screen candidates based on their skills, capabilities, and talents, rather than their educational background. This practice allows states to access a larger, more diverse pool of candidates, including individuals with disabilities.

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New Resources Guide States Toward More Inclusive Telework

States are increasingly turning to telework. Every state now has some form of telework policy – whether for emergency situations, for specific agencies, or for all agencies in the state. Yet these policies (and corresponding telework programs) are not necessarily inclusive of people with disabilities. As states revisit or develop public sector telework policies, they have the opportunity to make telework policies and programs more accessible to all employees – including those with disabilities – and to realize the corresponding benefits of inclusive telework.

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Building Resilience: How Inclusive Apprenticeship Programs Are Responding to COVID-19

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

Work-based learning experiences – like apprenticeships, job shadowing, and internships – serve a vital role in helping youth with disabilities transition into the workforce. In particular, they allow youth to develop job skills, identify strengths and career interests, and build their resumes. Yet, just like school-based learning, work-based learning has faced significant disruptions due to COVID-19. While some work-based learning can be easily transitioned to an online format, other programs pose greater challenges. 

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Inclusive Apprenticeships: How States are Supporting Skills Training for People with Disabilities

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

Apprenticeships are on the rise. Employers are increasingly turning to apprenticeships to build strong pipelines of talent, and states are investing in apprenticeships as important workforce development tools. Inclusive apprenticeships – that is, apprenticeships that provide skills training to people with disabilities – provide additional benefits. In particular, they can help employers and states increase the hiring and retention of people with disabilities. States are taking a number of approaches to make apprenticeship programs more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.

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Building Inclusive Apprenticeships: Upcoming Webinars Discuss Design and Funding Strategies

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

As states work to involve more youth with disabilities in the workforce, they are increasingly turning to work-based learning initiatives. Exposure to work-based learning – including internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing – is one of the strongest predictors of eventual employment success for youth with disabilities, as it allows youth to develop hard and soft work skills in a hands-on setting. 

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30 Years of ADA: Webinar Series Reflects on Our Progress and Charts Out a Future for Disability Inclusion

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

July 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has transformed protections, access and opportunities for people with disabilities. The anniversary provides an occasion to both commemorate the ADA — to reflect on its significance and the progress we’ve made over the last three decades — and to map out an even more inclusive future.

 

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