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July 29, 2002
DOL Offers Grants to Integrate Disabled into Workforce
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The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced late last week the availability of $6 million in funding under the Working for Freedom, Opportunity and Real Choice through Community Employment (WorkFORCE) Grant Initiative to integrate disabled workers.

The WorkFORCE Grant Initiative includes two components: WorkFORCE Coordinating Grants and WorkFORCE Action Grants.

Under the WorkFORCE Coordinating Grants Program, the Department of Labor announced it will award up to $4 million, with the average grant ranging between $100,000 and $150,000. These funds will help coordinate, strategize and develop competitive, customized community employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities so that they may live, work, and fully participate in their communities.

Eligible applicants for these grants include state agencies; nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations; consortia of public and private entities; and Indian and Native American Tribal entities, or consortia of Tribes.

Under the WorkFORCE Action Grant Program, the DOL reported it will award $400,000 to $750,000 to non-profit organizations or consortia of non-profit organizations to expand the delivery and implementation of competitive, customized community employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

These grants will support President Bush's New Freedom Initiative (NFI), which is designed to increase the number of people with disabilities who enter, reenter and remain in the workforce. The NFI is dedicated to increasing investment in and access to assistive technologies, a quality education, and increasing the integration of Americans with disabilities into the workforce and community life.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy will administer the grants.

Complete information about each grant solicitation, including the application process, application form and deadlines, can be found in the July 22 notices of the Federal Register. Information is also available on the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Web site.
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