2015 Starts with an Honor!

Last Monday, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced 17 public members who will serve on the new Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, a key provision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  Congratulations to Workforce Essentials’ own, Sharyn Hancock for being selected from hundreds of nominations.  Sharyn is the Director of the Disability Employment Initiative and the Ticket to Work Program for WEI.  

She is an outstanding leader in the State of Tennessee regarding employment opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities. I congratulate Sharyn on this recognition and know that she will serve us proudly during her time in Washington, D.C.

The excerpt below is taken from Secretary Perez’s press announcement:

Last summer, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the first major reform of the nation’s job training system in more than 15 years. The inclusion of the word “opportunity” is significant – it reflects a big step forward for our nation’s workforce system and the job seekers and employers it serves.

WIOA helps job seekers access the services they need to succeed in employment. It also helps match employers with the skilled workers they’re looking for. Notably, the law includes a specific focus on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and sets out a number of provisions to facilitate doing so.

One of these is the formation of an Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.

The purpose of this committee is to make recommendations on ways to increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities. This includes recommendations on the use of, and ways to improve oversight of, the certificate program under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The advisory committee’s goal will be to ensure more people have more opportunities to find meaningful work. That’s why today, I was pleased to announce the 17 members of the public who will sit on the committee. Per the law’s requirements, these individuals represent six groups essential for this important discussion. Needless to say, the selection was difficult. But, we are committed to ensuring those chosen have access to others who can contribute the highest level of expertise and experience to inform the committee’s work. Thus, we will engage additional nominees, as well as others with knowledge of the myriad complex issues involved, as appropriate.

For America’s workers with disabilities, the committee is an important part of expanding opportunities. I look forward to working with its members to ensure that all-important “Opportunity” applies to all.

Marla W. Rye, President