WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced the award of a $1.9 million contract to develop pilot projects focused on apprenticeship opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities in high-growth industries.
ODEP awarded a two-year contract to Social Policy Research Associates Inc. (SPRA) of Oakland, CA, to research, develop, test, and evaluate innovative strategies in existing apprenticeship programs that provide skills training to people with disabilities. Efforts will specifically focus on quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship pilots in high-growth industries such as information technology, healthcare, and emerging sectors. SPRA will document and share best practices so that other apprenticeship efforts may replicate promising approaches.
"Apprenticeships are a proven strategy for connecting job creators with motivated, highly skilled workers, yet people with disabilities are disproportionately underrepresented in apprenticeship programs and in the workforce at large," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy. "This project will help us determine ways to ensure people with disabilities acquire the skills and credentials needed to obtain an in-demand position in a high-growth business or industry, where jobs pay family-sustaining wages."
Today's announcement grows out of President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeship in America, which calls for increasing the number of apprentices in the U.S. across all industries.
ODEP works to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities by developing and influencing policies and practices. For more information on ODEP and this contract award, visit https://www.dol.gov/odep/.