WIOA Advisory Committee Holds Eighth Meeting
On April 27 and 28, the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities held its eighth meeting. The meeting, which took place in Washington, D.C., was its eighth meeting since members were appointed in January of 2015.
As mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Committee is required to meet at least eight times during its two-year commitment and is charged with the purpose of preparing findings, conclusions and recommendations for the Secretary of Labor on:
- Ways to increase employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities in competitive integrated employment;
- The use of certificate programs carried out under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the employment of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities; and
- Ways to improve oversight of the use of such certificates.
Multiple subcommittees of the Advisory Committee presented recommendations for the final report to be released at the end of September 2016. The Subcommittee on Marketplace Dynamics offered six recommendations for the final report including new efforts to be led by the Department of Transportation to expand availability of accessible transportation with special attention to rural areas; expanded attention by the Department of Labor to provide additional outreach and guidance to Federal contractors to enhance compliance with new Section 503 rules and a priority for Congress to amend and expand financial benefits to employers under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Disabled Access Credit and the Architectural and Transportation Barrier Removal Act.
The Subcommittee on Capacity Building urged the development of state/local standards to adopt national standards of professional competence in providing competitive, integrated employment services. The Transition to Careers Subcommittee urged consideration by state government to waive any requirements that make it more difficult for states to effectively use and braid funds across service delivery systems to meet individual employment objectives. A similar recommendation was made by the Complexity and Needs Subcommittee to have the Department of Labor lead a collaboration of federal agencies to develop joint guidance on braiding and blending funding streams that improve competitive, integrated employment outcomes. Additional recommendations from all of the Subcommittees are available on the Advisory Committee web page for this meeting.
Additionally, during the meeting, testimony was provided by several groups, including: ANCOR, Peckham Inc., The Arc, APSE, TASH, and others. For a complete list, please visit https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/date/20160427-testimony.htm.
The final meeting of the Committee will be in-person and will take place July 20-21 in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about these and other recommendations being considered by the Advisory Committee, visit the Committee’s webpage.