April 9, 2012
Funding for States for Employment
Department of Labor representatives gave $100,000 to Tennessee, Oregon, and Iowa to increase efforts for jobs for people with physical/mental challenges. This money was given to the states for people to become employed in their area rather than employment by sheltered workshops. Sometimes sheltered workshops offer employment income less than the minimum wage.
"It’s time to move past the stereotypes and misconceptions that people with disabilities are unable to work," said Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor of disability employment policy, to announce the new initiative. "Research clearly shows that people with significant disabilities may work in the community and earns the minimum wage."
Representatives of the Labor Department are accommodating with regard to what states can do with the money. The $100,000 given to these three states will be used to ensure that work within the community can become the first goal among people with mental/physical challenges. This is the first round of this type of financing.
Washington will become a mentor for the other states in the program. It will collect the money as well and the state is seen as being at the forefront for these types of services. Oregon, Tennessee, and Iowa will collect money through 2014, and other states will apply soon.