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Employment Laws and Hot Topics

Over the past five years, individuals with developmental disabilities have had an increasingly successful role in California’s workforce.  This has been due in part to the passage of new laws and policies around employment as well as collaboration between the state agencies that support individuals with disabilities.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA)

WIOA is landmark legislation that is designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers. 

WIOA limited the ability of youth to be paid Subminimum Wage.  Comparison’s between WIOA and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 can be found in the Side-by-Side Comparison of Occupational Training and Adult Education.

California’s Employment First Policy

In 2013, the governor of California signed a bill that established California’s Employment First Policy.  This policy states that opportunities for competitive integrated employment (also referred to as CIE) shall be given the highest priority in service planning for working age individuals with developmental disabilities.

TCRC’s Employment First Policy

Tri-Counties Regional Center believes all people have the right to enjoy the benefits of meaningful work and with the proper supports, work environment, and a desire to work, everyone is employable.  

The intended outcome of TCRC’s Employment First Policy is to significantly increase the number of people employed in an integrated work environment; including self-employment and micro-enterprises, at a competitive wage.

The California Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Blueprint for Change

The California Competitive Integrated Employment Blueprint for Change (CIE Blueprint) is a plan developed jointly by the California Departments of Education (CDE), Rehabilitation (DOR), and Developmental Services (DDS) to identify ways to increase opportunities for competitive work in the real world for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The CIE Blueprint is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Armenian, Russian, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.

Adult Education Block Grant

The 2015-2016 State Budget appropriated $500 million to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) and the California Department of Education to allocate funding for Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) programs. A portion of the grant funds awarded are used to create and implement education programs for adults with disabilities.

Funds were awarded to four consortia in the tri-counties region: Allan Hancock Community College Consortium, San Luis Obispo County Adult Education Consortium, Santa Barbara AEBG Consortium and Ventura County Adult Education Consortium.

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