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NCIL joins LEAD Center to Pioneer Pilot Program with the American Job Center Network

December 21, 2012

One of the LEAD Center’s core goals is strengthening the capacity of the workforce investment sector to maximize services to jobseekers with disabilities while providing training and resources to promote self-advocacy for people with disabilities to better use the American Job Center Network.   The LEAD Center is pleased to have initiated a partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) to help accomplish this goal.

NCIL and the LEAD Center will work collaboratively on an innovative demonstration project involving linkages to select Centers for Independent Living (CILs) located across the United States that will work with job seekers with disabilities through the American Job Centers (AJCs).  A target objective for this collaboration is to expand the employment opportunities for job seekers with disabilities by providing training and advocacy support on various topics, including:  what to expect at an AJC, how to obtain job search assistance and training services, learning about and acquiring accommodation supports if needed, as well as understanding the pros and cons of disclosing a disability. Once recruited, CILs that have expertise in employment and established relationships with American Job Centers will work with consumers throughout the training and/or job search process to provide, or facilitate, linkages to services and supports such as counseling on the impact of employment on benefits, addressing transportation needs (when applicable), identifying and facilitating access to assistive technology and providing liaison with employers if requested. 

In addition, it is anticipated that CIL staff will provide disability awareness training and technical assistance to AJC staff regarding universal access and appropriate service delivery when working with job seekers that represent a cross spectrum of disabilities.  The LEAD Center has also partnered with the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) to identify training needs, promote the initiative’s goals, and facilitate linkages with local AJC administrators and workforce boards.  This demonstration project will represent the first systemic look at how CILs can perform a key role in advancing employment and economic advancement for job seekers with disabilities as CIL staffs utilize their unique expertise in consumer and community supports to improve training and employment options through the public workforce system.