Florida PYs 2020-2023 Published Approved

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p. 4. How the funds reserved for innovation and expansion (I&E) activities were utilized

Current Narrative:

Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

In FFY 2016-17, with the agreement of the FRC, VR continued to use funds designated under this section to support the functions of the FRC and Florida Independent Living Council (FILC), and to support opportunities for improving the efficiency of service delivery.

Actual Performance:

VR continues to support and collaborate with the FRC and FILC as required in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. In SFY 2018-19, a total of 12,717 independent living plans were developed, and 23,334 independent living goals were set through the network of 16 Centers for Independent Living (CIL). CILs served a total of 17,151 individuals with significant disabilities. Information and Referral services were provided to approximately 22,788 individuals and Community Transition Assistance was provided to 118 individuals.

VR recognizes Innovation and Expansion projects as beneficial and complementary to WIOA-related initiatives. Following a formal procurement process, VR has entered into contracts for five Innovation and Expansion projects, described below. Contracts for the projects run through SFY 2020.

1. The Business Center for Diversity and Inclusion (BCDI) - Operated by The Diversity Initiative, Inc. (TDI). TDI is providing a “no fee” Business Center provides consultation, development, training, and support services to local businesses and organizations to facilitate employment placement for individuals with unique abilities. The BCDI serves Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Hernando counties.

2. The Arc-2-Work: a work-skills training program - Operated by Arc of Alachua County. The Arc-2-Work program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions to high school students and clients of the Arc that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Alachua County.

3. The Industry Readiness Training (IRT) Program - Operated by Brevard Achievement Center. The IRT Program is providing pre-employment training and participation in volunteering positions that will foster employment placement for individuals with unique abilities in Brevard County.

4. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.

5. Discovering Your Potential (DYP) - Operated by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. The DYP Program is providing highly focused, intensive discovery, training, and support to individuals with unique abilities in order to increase employment outcomes in Palm Beach County.

Explanation of Performance:

These collaborative efforts helped strengthen leadership and improve services, which led to increased employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. It is anticipated that the new Innovation and Expansion projects will contribute positively to VR’s rehabilitation rate and provide more informed customer choice and options.

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