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BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission has been awarded $2.3 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Labor to improve education, training and employment opportunities and outcomes for Louisiana residents with disabilities.
The funding, through the DOL’s Disability Employment Initiative, will assist youths and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed or who receive Social Security benefits.
“We applied for this because everyone in Louisiana who wants to work deserves every opportunity to do so,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “This funding will help us bridge gaps that sometimes impede individuals with disabilities from getting jobs which they can do well if given the chance.”
The funding will help train LWC staff to work more effectively with people with different kinds of disabilities, to learn about and develop employment opportunities for them and to help them qualify for and get those jobs. The LWC’s program gives special priority to military veterans with disabilities, the homeless, individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness and/or hidden disabilities, ex-offenders as well as individuals with significant disabilities.
The LWC serves individuals with disabilities through Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, which the LWC continues to integrate with the rest of the agency’s workforce system and services.
Louisiana’s DEI grant is for $2,271,102 and will expand and enhance employment services the LWC provides through 2016. The money is part of more than $20 million in DEI funds announced this week.
The announcement comes ahead of October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month. To support the initiative, LWC spearheads the statewide 2012 Work Pays Job Fairs, which connect job seekers with disabilities to employers looking to hire.
For more information about the agency’s no-cost services for individuals with disabilities or other special needs, visit laworks.net.
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