State Focus: Missouri – Missouri’s Commitment to Equal Opportunity: Using WIOA’s Section 188 to Create a Blueprint for Improving Access & Equal Opportunity
The State of Missouri began working with the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD) Center in 2015. Their State Equal Opportunity Officer was seeking support to implement the Equal Opportunity provisions of Section 188 on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, just as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was being passed. Although the passage of WIOA did not change the Section 188 provisions, the vision of WIOA created substantial opportunities for people with disabilities. This brief details the LEAD Center’s work with Missouri, the strategic direction they chose, Missouri’s statewide approach to building infrastructure to support Equal Opportunity, and what they learned along the way. The brief ends with suggested Action Steps, which can be implemented by other systems, and useful Resources.