GWIB Board

National Technical Assistance and Research Leadership Center to Promote Employment and Economic Independence for Adults with Disabilities Base Realignment and Closure Act (NTAR BRAC) Plan for Maryland

 

NTAR Project Overview

In January of 2008, Governors of all states received an invitation from The National Technical Assistance and Research Leadership Center to Promote Employment and Economic Independence for Adults with Disabilities (NTAR) at Rutgers University to apply to the State Leaders Innovation Institute. Funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the US Department of Labor, the NTAR Leadership Center was seeking states poised and committed to integrating their disability employment policies and activities with their economic and work development efforts. As one of only 3 states, including the District of Columbia, to have a state Department of Disabilities, as well as having a demonstrated track record for innovation and forward thinking, Maryland was in a position to submit a strong proposal.

The States of Connecticut, Maryland and Minnesota were selected through a competitive process from 13 states, to participate in the first State Leaders Innovation Institute.

 
Governor Martin O'Malley greets a disabled worker on the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Governor Martin O'Malley greets a disabled worker on the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The State Leaders Innovation Institute is part of the NTAR Leadership Centerís national efforts to improve employment for adults with disabilities by connecting state workforce policies to state and local economic growth and development goals. Several demographic and workforce trends ó including the aging of the workforce ó reinforce the need for states and employers to develop stronger partnerships that result in making employment available to adults with disabilities in statesí high-growth industries. Despite multiple government efforts and compelling reasons for hiring people with disabilities, they remain disproportionately out of the workforce. According to Census Bureau data, only 38% of Americans with disabilities aged 21-64 were employed in 2005, compared to 78% of Americans without disabilities.

Through participation in the 15-month State Leaders Innovation Institute, teams of high-level state policy makers from Connecticut, Maryland and Minnesota ó representing economic development, workforce development, and disability employment have and continue to receive specialized technical assistance, leadership support and other resources as they work to pioneer innovative approaches to improve employment for adults with disabilities. The priorities laid out by NTAR for the participating states are:

  • Integrating disability employment policy into the stateís economic development, economic growth, or sector initiatives;
     
  • Implementing innovative demand-side approaches to increasing the employment of adults with disabilities;
     
  • Implementing strategic actions that improve the economic wellbeing of adults with disabilities; and/or
     
  • Establishing leading-edge universal and customized approaches for the organization and delivery of state workforce policy that improves connections to training and work for all job seekers including adults with disabilities.

Marylandís Project Overview (Word document, 120KB, download Word viewer for free)