In August 2019, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Workforce Development Council (WDC) formally engaged with the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED), an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP) to help address barriers to employment for people with disabilities in cities. The partnership was announced at the September 2019 WDC Board Meeting in Washington, DC.
SEED is a collaboration with leading intermediary organizations that helps state and local governments develop and implement effective policies and best practices that increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
As part of USCM’s partnership with SEED, the WDC formed a Disability Employment Working Group in October 2019 to study disability employment issues facing cities and make recommendations for identifying and collecting disability employment best practices from WDC member organizations. The WDC Disability Employment Working Group currently consists of 26 WDC members spread across the United States, and has been convening on a regular basis to discuss disability employment issues, solicit completed Disability Employment Best Practice Surveys from WDC members, and share disability employment best practices among members of the Working Group.
The Disability Employment Working Group has several exciting releases planned for the upcoming months, including a disability employment panel presentation and publication. Members of the Disability Employment Working Group will deliver a panel presentation at the January 2020 WDC Board Meeting to highlight the progress of the Working Group and showcase several of the innovative disability employment best practices that the Working Group has received thus far.
The centerpiece of the WDC-SEED collaboration is an upcoming publication that will feature disability employment best practices from cities across the United States. This publication was to be unveiled at the June 2020 Annual Conference of Mayors in Austin but was postponed due to COVID-19. When the publication is published, it will serve as a useful resource for mayors, workforce development professionals, and other city officials to consider as they strive to implement disability-inclusive policies in their own cities.
The Disability Employment Working Group welcomes the participation of WDC members in this important collaboration with SEED. The Working Group hopes to recognize WDC members for their leadership in the area of workforce programs on disability employment and provide cities across the country with a valuable resource for promoting disability-inclusive policies and programs, in an effort to ensure that people with disabilities have access to meaningful employment opportunities.
If you would like to participate in this initiative or submit a Disability Employment Best Practice, please reach out to Micah Kyler at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.