WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today the availability of $2 million in funds for the first year of a cooperative agreement for an employer-focused, disability policy development and technical assistance center.
The announced funding availability is a re-competition of an existing cooperative agreement to manage the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion. EARN helps employers, human resources professionals, and diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility staff find the resources they need to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities.
Administered by the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the agency anticipates the availability of $10 million in funds for a five-year budget period, subject to federal fund availability at $2 million per year. The center aims to build upon EARN’s previous work by engaging with employers, labor-management partners, and intermediaries representing employers and historically underserved communities to identify and understand challenges to workplace disability inclusion.
“The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion is a core component of the U.S. Department of Labor’s ongoing work with employers and policymakers to advance disability inclusion in the nation’s workplaces,” said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “We look forward to working with a successful applicant to continue EARN’s success in helping more people with disabilities to use their skills and talents to strengthen America’s workforce.”
The center will also conduct research and policy analysis, provide technical assistance, and develop tools and resources for public and private sector employers of all sizes — including federal contractors — to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities.
The deadline for application is June 23, 2023.
EARN’s work has received several awards, particularly for its popular Inclusion@Work Framework, a seven-part guide for building a disability-inclusive workplace.
ODEP aims to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities by developing and influencing policies and practices. Read the full announcement for this grant opportunity.