In partnership with the Council of State Governments, the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability and the Transition to Adulthood Center for Research at the UMass Medical School have been awarded a $4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to operate a policy development center focused on youth with disabilities.
“There's a variety of things we hope to accomplish through our work at the center,” said Andrew Karhan, program director of workforce development at the institute. “In the larger scheme, we will seek to assist states in identifying the needs of workforce systems, conducting research and policy analysis that will address those problems and developing and disseminating resources to policymakers and state partners that will offer solutions to the issues related to employment and youth with disabilities.”
During the center’s tenure, the institute and its partners will expand on the work of the federal labor department's Office of Disability Employment Policy National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, whose mission was to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“This will be a national technical assistance center with an impact that will be broad-reaching across all states with a goal of increasing employment opportunities for youth with disabilities who are in the workforce development system,” Karhan said.
This is the second multi-million-dollar grant awarded to the Yang-Tan Institute this summer. Earlier in August, the U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy awarded $2 million for the first year of a four-year, $8 million agreement to operate and manage the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion, the employer-focused policy development and technical assistance center.