LEXINGTON, Ky. — Subcommittees of a national workforce development task force created by The Council of State Governments met recently in Washington, D.C., to develop and review policy options that states could consider to improve workforce development for people with disabilities.
The meeting featured Jerry Abramson, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House, as the plenary speaker.
CSG, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures, organized the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities to help state leaders identity barriers to employment at the state level and provide them with policy recommendations to address those barriers. The task force consists of four subcommittees: Career Readiness and Employability; Hiring, Retention and Re-entry; Entrepreneurship and Tax Incentives; and Technology, Transportation and Other Employment Supports.
State Senator Becky Massey (R- Knoxville) serves on the Entrepreneurship, Tax Incentives and Procurement Subcommittee. The group’s final report will be presented at a policy academy on Dec. 8 in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., during the 2016 CSG National Conference.
“With over 54 million American adults living with a disability, we must come up with viable solutions to help them enter and remain in the workforce,” said Sen. Massey. “The majority of them have the ability, desire and willingness to work and contribute to the economy and we must facilitate those opportunities. Meeting with lawmakers and stakeholders from across the country has provided me with some suggestions and methods that we may apply in Tennessee to help some of our most vulnerable citizens. I look forward to implementing solutions to this nation-wide issue.”
The task force and subcommittees convened for its first meeting March 19-20 in Chicago to lay the groundwork for the policy options and themes addressed at the meeting in Washington, D.C.
The effort is sponsored by the State Exchange on Employment and Disability, or SEED, initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
The 2016 CSG president and chair—Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Nebraska Sen. Beau McCoy, respectively—serve as co-chairs of the national task force.
Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that serves all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.