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Selected States and District of Columbia to Join Initiative to Expand Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Twelve states and the District of Columbia will participate as “core states” in the 2024 U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network (NEON) Initiative. NEON seeks to increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities through partnerships with provider organizations nationwide. The participation of these states will enable government agencies in these areas to receive “consulting, capacity-building support and ongoing mentoring to increase competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.” States recently selected are California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee. These selections will complement existing partnerships between the DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODE) and six state “intermediary” organizations that joined the NEON program in 2023. Partner organizations assist with key issues at the national, state, and local levels that have an impact on state governments’ abilities to boost competitive, integrated employment. Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams explained the potential impact of this initiative. She stated that “’Advancing strategies such as blending, braiding and sequencing of funding, strategic planning, benefits counseling and effective data analysis will allow us to achieve greater workplace equity.’” For additional details, read the press release covering the news that the Department of Labor Announces Selection of 12 States, District of Columbia to Join Initative Expanding Opportunities for People with Disabilities.