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LEAD Center Hosts National Dialogue on Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways

December 21, 2016

As part of National Disability Employment Awareness (NDEAM) month in October, the LEAD Center hosted a three-week National Dialogue on Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways, in collaboration with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and ePolicyWorks. The National Dialogue was designed to gather ideas to assist in the development of strategies and practices to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities, and others who face barriers to employment, in career pathways initiatives. Nearly 300 people participated in the dialogue; 56 new ideas were generated on which people could comment and vote. The LEAD Center plans to include information from the dialogue in materials for an upcoming Policy Roundtable on this topic.

Inclusive career pathways are programs and approaches designed to support people whose career options have been limited because they lack the academic and/or technical skills necessary to complete the credentialing requirements of many key high-demand and high-growth career opportunities. Inclusive approaches bring together employers in key industries with community colleges, disability services partners, government agencies, community partners, and social service agencies to develop and implement strategies for overcoming the workforce barriers faced by people with disabilities, returning citizens, people without a high school diploma and/or little-to-no post-secondary education, English language learners, and others who might require additional support.

The results of this dialogue will support the career and economic advancement of people with disabilities, which will also enable the LEAD Center to disseminate information to promote careers for people whose options may be otherwise limited. The great insights and practices provided by participants, through the LEAD Center National Dialogue, will be used as a foundation to collect additional ideas and develop materials to promote inclusive career pathways initiatives and full workplace inclusion.