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j. 1. D. Who have been served through other components of the statewide workforce development system; and

Current Narrative:

The Department of Labor (DOL) January 2019 disability employment statistics reports the following for individuals ages 16 and over:

Labor Force Participation
  • People with disabilities: 20.5%
  • People without disabilities: 68.3%
Unemployment Rate
  • People with disabilities: 9.0%
  • People without disabilities: 4.2% 

The survey addressed a few questions about partnerships with the statewide workforce development system (i.e. WorkOne Centers).

  • What would help improve the partnership between VR and workforce programs (example: WorkOne) to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities? 
    • Reponses to this question were very evenly distributed among all the respondents.  Rated highest was the need for cross training of staff on services provided by the two programs (21%).   Coordination of funding and staffing (16%), disability awareness training (14%), making the referral process easier (14%), increased VR presence in WorkOne Centers (14%) and better access to workforce programs (12%) were closely rated.
  • What are positive things that are happening between WorkOne and VR?
    • There were 275 responses to this question with 120 responding that they were either not aware of the relationship or that they could not identify a positive happening.  Improved communication, collaboration, and improved working relationships were noted by many respondents.  They also referred to job fairs, Pre-ETS, and JAG as positive experiences.

BRS and Department of Workforce Development engaged in collaborative efforts which are further detailed below:

  • negotiating infrastructure funding agreements statewide;
  • developing updated memorandums of understanding to outline partner responsibilities and also facilitate sharing of data;
  • jointly conducting a Roundtable Summit with core WIOA partners and other stakeholders in preparation for implementation of a VR order of selection to educate about and discuss potential impact on WIOA partners;
  • Teaming on a Department of Labor (DOL) customer service cohort to improve access to WorkOne services for Hoosiers with disabilities;
  • VR representation on the State Workforce Innovation Council and representation of DWD on the Commission on Rehabilitation Services;
  • Training to WorkOne center staff on disability etiquette and VR services;
  • Cross participation in federal monitoring visits conducted by U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, and U.S. DOL; and
  • Ongoing and growing collaboration with DWDs Business Services team that has resulted in multiple cross referrals of businesses for resource sharing, and also joint utilization of a tracking system for business engagement efforts.