Tags Posts tagged with "Competitive-Integrated Employment"

Competitive-Integrated Employment

CLASS invites people with disabilities, family members, professionals, employers, and students to join them as they discuss breaking down the barriers for people with disabilities to gain competitive integrated employment.

Self-Advocate and Set Your Path To Success
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
12:00 pm
Virtual Event
Johanna Murphy of Evolve Coaching will join to discuss self-advocating to lay the groundwork for your success in employment.

Employer Discussion Panel
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
4:00 pm
In-Person at Brother Andre’s Café
Join CLASS at Brother Andre’s Cafe and hear about navigating the workplace from employers who have experience employing people with disabilities. Other employers are welcome to come learn about how to foster a diverse workforce at their businesses too!

To register for these events or see other upcoming opportunities, visit CLASS’s collection on Eventbrite. For questions about this series, please contact Chris Phelps at 412.683.7100 x2125 or via email.

This project is funded by the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I), Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), is looking for a partner to deliver and manage their InVEST Project services in the eastern region of Pennsylvania. The federally funded InVEST Project (Grant # H421D220003) will assist individuals with disabilities in finding fulfilling jobs in their communities while meeting the unique workforce needs of green and transportation-related industries.

If you’re interested in applying, visit PA eMarketplace.

A Request for Proposals (Solicitation/Project#:6100060351) for a single contract in the eastern region of Pennsylvania with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) for the PA SWTCIE Grant’s InVEST Project has been issued. Interested parties should access information regarding this opportunity on the PA eMarketplace website.

The InVEST Project is seeking to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes for individuals who are engaged, or are considering engagement, in subminimum wage employment. The project is funded through the Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment Grant, a federal model demonstration grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (PR Award # H421D220003).

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires the governor of each state to submit a four-year unified or combined state plan outlining the state’s workforce development strategy. The plan can be viewed on the Department of Labor and Industry’s website, and the draft for the 2024–2028 plan is available here.

Pennsylvania’s Combined State Plan includes the six WIOA Core programs: Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth, Wagner-Peyser, Adult Basic Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation. It also includes the following optional programs:

  • Career and Technical Education Programs-Perkins Act
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Programs
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program
  • Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Program
  • Community Services Block Grant
  • Unemployment Insurance

Some specific areas of interest to our members include the following goals:

  • Empowering individuals paid subminimum wages through 14(c) waivers to obtain CIE;
  • Expediting the Integrated Vocational Engagement & Support Team (InVEST) Project to assist individuals with disabilities, families, and community businesses with CIE engagement, supports, and services/resource coordination;
  • Increasing competitive integrated employment (CIE) opportunities for individuals with disabilities;
  • Increasing transition services for students with disabilities; and
  • Increasing statewide collaboration with the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) to expand Pre-ETS across Departments.

Public comments will be accepted on Pennsylvania’s WIOA Combined State Plan until 5:00 pm on Tuesday, January 16, 2024. Please submit your comments electronically. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to:

PA Workforce Development Board
651 Boas Street | Room 514
Harrisburg, PA 17121

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) will be hosting two public Listening Sessions to seek input from stakeholders as it prepares to apply to the Rehabilitation Services Administration for a competitive discretionary grant. The public is invited to attend and share comments. CART and ASL services will be available.

Listening Sessions

  1. Wednesday, May 11, 2022, from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST
    May 11 Listening Session Zoom Registration
  2. Thursday, May 12, 2022, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST
    May 12 Listening Session Zoom Registration

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Grant Information

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) was issued to support innovative activities aimed at increasing Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE), as defined in section 7 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act) (Gov Regs Definitions), for youth and other individuals with disabilities.

The priority of the grant is: Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment (SWTCIE) Innovative Model Demonstration Project. The project seeks model demonstration projects designed to develop, implement, refine, evaluate, and disseminate, for easy adoption, new or substantially improved model strategies or programs to transition individuals in subminimum wage employment into CIE in any one of the following 6 topic areas:

  1. Essential Workers;
  2. Green Job Workers;
  3. Home and Community-Based Service Workers;
  4. Arts;
  5. Transportation Industry and Related Industry Workers; or
  6. Field-Initiated: Field initiated projects will identify and implement innovative strategies that assist SWTCIE program participants to secure CIE. A field-initiated project may (1) address innovative topic areas not otherwise included in this notice or (2) combine two or more topic areas described in this notice into one application.

The purpose of this competition is to increase competitive-integrated employment opportunities for students, youth, and adults with disabilities contemplating, actively seeking, or engaged in subminimum wage employment. To achieve this purpose, projects funded under this priority will create innovative models, for dissemination and replication, to:

  1. Identify strategies for addressing challenges associated with access to CIE (e.g., transportation, support services);
  2. Provide integrated services that support CIE;
  3. Support integration into the community through CIE;
  4. Identify and coordinate wrap-around services for any individual served by the project who obtains CIE;
  5. Develop evidence-based practices and share those practices with other entities holding 14(c) certificates, State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies, local rehabilitation providers, State and local workforce agencies, and regional and local employers; and
  6. Provide entities holding section 14(c) certificates with readily accessible transformative business models for adoption.

Access the OVR Competitive Discretionary Grant Request for Information (RFI) here. The public is invited to also share written comments if unable to attend a listening session. Written comments should be submitted via email with the subject line “12 OVR SWTCIE Discretionary Grant” before 5/10/2022 at 4:00 pm.


The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy has prepared a helpful fact sheet on Recent Funding Opportunities to Expand Access to Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) for Individuals with Disabilities. As the Introduction notes, “This fact sheet highlights exciting new funding and flexibilities under the Biden-Harris Administration that provide significant opportunities to increase access to competitive integrated employment (CIE) for youth and adults with disabilities in support of their desire to live and work in the most integrated setting in their communities. The increased funding and flexibilities are provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES); the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP); the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA); the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 (FCAA); and through the work of multiple federal agencies providing services to individuals with disabilities. These include the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Administration for Community Living (ACL), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); the Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP); and the Social Security Administration.” You will find the multi-page fact sheet here.