The Employment and Training Admin. (DOL) sets a summer deadline for its Disability Employment Initiative (DEI): Round VI (CFDA Number: 17.283) (Funding Opportunity Number: FOA-ETA-15-08).
(Deadline: June 11)
State workforce agencies use these funds to develop and implement plans to improve workforce involvement by persons with disabilities. The program improves educational, training and employment opportunities for unemployed, underemployed and those receiving Social Security disability benefits. The ultimate goal is to help low-income individuals with disabilities find a path into the middle class through exemplary and model service delivery by the public workforce system.
‘Pathways’ are a requirement
Grantees must offer ways for youth and adults with disabilities to participate in existing career pathway systems and programs, which have been funded through other ETA funding. Career pathways and systems have at least one of the following components:
- Rigorous, sequential, connected, and efficient curricula that integrate basic education and occupational skills training.
- Multiple entry and exit points.
- Comprehensive support services, including career counseling, child care and transportation.
- Financial supports or flexibility to enable individuals to meet their ongoing financial needs and obligations during program participation.
- Specific focus on local workforce needs, aligned with the skill needs of targeted industry sectors important to local, regional, or state economies and reflective of the active engagement of businesses.
- Curricula and instructional strategies appropriate for youth and adults that make work a central context for learning and work readiness skills.
- Offer credit for prior learning and other strategies that accelerate the educational and career advancement of the participant.
Partnerships to help reach 11 goals
The objectives of this round of funding are to use the services of the workforce agencies, in partnerships with educational institutions, businesses, and other workforce system stakeholders, to achieve 11 individual, program, and system level goals. These goals are outlined on page 4 of the solicitation and include providing diversified job-driven training opportunities for individuals with disabilities, including on-the-job training, summer youth employment, registered apprenticeships and internships.
Another goal is to increase the number of individuals with disabilities who earn credentials, including high school diplomas, industry-recognized certificates, and two- and four-year postsecondary degrees, that enable them to compete for employment along a career pathway in high-demand and emerging occupations.
Program funding is stable
The program maintains it FY 2014 funding level, with $15 million available for eight awards this fiscal year. The top award will be $2.5 million. ETA intends to award at least one grant in each of three population focus areas: (1) projects that focus on adults (ages 18 and older) with disabilities; (2) projects that focus on youth (ages 14-24) with disabilities; and (3) projects that focus on individuals (ages 14 and older) with significant disabilities.
Keep in mind: ETA is the midst of its FY 2015 grantmaking, with four other active solicitations (). These include YouthBuild (CFDA Number. 17.274) and Training to Work 3 (CFDA Number: 17.270). The majority of the solicitations have June deadlines.
Contact: Cam Nguyen, 202/693-2838; e-mail, Nguyen.Cam@dol.gov