WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the availability of $2,083,300 for two cooperative agreements to improve post-secondary education and employment opportunities for youth with disabilities through the Pathways to Careers: Community Colleges for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities Demonstration Project.
Each cooperative agreement may receive up to $1,041,650 to fund a pilot project that will build the capacity of community colleges to meet the educational and career development needs of youth with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities. The pilots will provide for researching, developing, testing and evaluating innovative systems to deliver inclusive integrated education and career development services.
“Our nation’s community colleges are a tremendous resource for anyone seeking to position themselves for high-growth, high-demand careers, and they can be an especially critical link for youth with disabilities,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez. “This federal funding will ensure that these young people have opportunities to develop top-notch skills as they transition from school to the world of work.”
To be eligible, grant applicants must be: institutes of higher education that provide education and career training that can be completed in two years or less and recipients of funding through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program. Grantees will be required to use the Guideposts for Success, developed by ODEP in collaboration with the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, as a framework in developing their projects. They must also establish partnerships with public workforce systems; intermediary organizations serving as conveners, brokers or technical assistance providers; philanthropic, business-related, nonprofit, community-based or labor organizations; youth-focused disability-serving organizations; state or local disability-serving organizations; and local education agencies.
The grant-funded programs must serve youth and young adults with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24. This award will cover a 60-month period of performance and will fund the first 12-month budget period. ODEP, at its discretion, may make available continuation awards for additional 12-month budget periods through the end of the period of performance.
Applications will be accepted until Monday, Aug. 11. All grants will be awarded by Sept. 30.