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NC Employment Collaborative Initiative

The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) has a long history of exploring and supporting efforts to expand the range of employment choices for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Council recognizes the importance of the goals outlined in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), as well as the North Carolina Unified State Plan which outlines a roadmap for North Carolina accomplishing the mandates outlined in WIOA.

Using a collective impact approach, the contractor will support current efforts of the Community College System, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Health and Human Services, in aligning their joint efforts as outlined in the North Carolina Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Unified State Plan. This initiative represents another step forward in promoting system change efforts to increase employment rates for the I/DD community and other individuals living with disabilities, while supporting state leadership in their efforts to accomplish the goals of the Unified State Plan. This collaborative is also intended to continue to encourage North Carolina becoming an Employment First state.

Why is NCCDD funding this initiative?Goal1

Over the last decade in North Carolina, there have been federal and state level collaborations among various divisions to raise awareness and address the systemic barriers to competitive integrated employment for individuals living with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD). A 2013 report released by the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN), entitled “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities”, outlined many recommendations that provided direction and guidance to state governments for joining their efforts with business partners to promote hiring of people living with I/DD and other disabilities, in both private and public sectors. The SELN is a federal collaboration designed to be a roadmap for state governors and leaders to use as they strategize their efforts to address employment disparities for people living with disabilities.

Regarding recent state level collaborations designed to increase engagement between state leadership and employment partners across the state, in 2017 technical assistance was brought in from the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy to assist multiple state divisions, including the Division of Medical Assistance, the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to support their efforts in realigning their respective employment service definitions, as well as inform policy for best employment services practices for employment service personnel.

The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) has a long history of exploring and supporting efforts to expand the range of employment choices for individuals with I/DD. The Council recognizes the importance of the goals outlined in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), as well as the North Carolina Unified State Plan which outlines a roadmap for North Carolina accomplishing the mandates outlined in WIOA.

What are the major goals and objectives?

Promote the ongoing work of the Business Advisory Councils through:

  • Establishment of a workgroup that includes representation from self-advocates currently receiving employment services and/or employment related supports, business leaders and human resource professionals, cooperating agencies, and MCOs.
  • Schedule and facilitate workgroup meetings over the next year to prepare recommendations for Prosperity Zone committee members. Prepare and distribute minutes following each workgroup meeting.
  • Educate and inform the workgroup on best practices within and outside of the state.

Facilitate interagency collaboration by the following:

  • Provide support for facilitating a common agenda, vision and mission alignment for the regional Business Advisory Council’s (BAC’s) members as they provide input to regional Prosperity Zone committee members.
  • Identify and address current information gaps for people living with disabilities, as it pertains to employment and their knowledge and awareness of employment related services and supports as a baseline for shared measurement for system improvements, collaboration, and access to information for employment stakeholders.
  • Address system navigation challenges, and siloed information to eliminate the “wrong door” experience for self-advocates and their families.
  • Examine how to address the specific needs and unique challenges of citizens in rural areas from both an employer and self-advocate perspective.
  • Examine tools for measuring and tracking success for community based, competitive, integrated employment for individuals living with disabilities, including those living with I/DD.
  • Explore the potential of developing interagency agreements for what constitutes accurate data collection across multiple state agencies that provide employment related services and supports to measure this initiative’s potential impact.
  • Identify and recruit business community leaders that are champions for employment opportunities for all North Carolina citizens to participate in this initiative.
  • Conduct a review of current progress made in accomplishing goals of the North Carolina Unified State Plan as it relates to employment for individuals living with I/DD and other disabilities.
  • Identify areas in the North Carolina Unified State Plan in which guidelines could be strengthened as it pertains to individuals living with I/DD.

How can I get involved?

Contact Travis Williams, Systems Change Manager, travis.williams@dhhs.nc.gov for more information on becoming involved in one or more of the above elements.

Who can I contact for questions?

Employment Services Coordinator: Patricia K. Keul, patkeul@yahoo.com
NCCDD: Travis Williams, Systems Change Manager, travis.williams@dhhs.nc.gov

 

Additional Resources

Click here to download a one pager of this initiative.



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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities
3125 Poplarwood Court
Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27604
Info@nccdd.org
919-850-2901 (voice/tdd)
800-357-6916 (voice/tdd)
800-357-6916 (TTY)
919-850-2915 fax