March 9, 2010: The NDI DPN Technical Assistance team, working in coordination with the national DPN Program Office, facilitates monthly administrative conference calls with the state-level DPN representatives from the 46 DPN grantees that also includes regional Federal Project Officers and representatives from the Social Security Administration to address updates and issues of importance and need.
The guest presentations for the March administrative conference featured Raquel Pinderhughes, Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, San Francisco State University, who discussed her environmental literacy curriculum ROOTS for Success (to be launched March 2010). It also included a representative from the Institute for Community Inclusion of the University of Massachusetts Boston, Sheila Fesko, who talked about Service and Employment for Individuals with Disabilities and opportunities for coordination and collaboration.
Both of these presentations provided DPN grantees with tangible options for the workforce system to engage job seekers with disabilities and others with employment challenges to help build skill sets and practical job experience. We are all well aware of the focus on the “Green” economy and the opportunity for new and enhanced employment opportunities in these areas but we have not seen much in the way of available training and skill building opportunities to help job seekers with challenges to employment to competitively compete for these opportunities, which the Roots of Success curriculum addresses. Through the Kennedy Service Act of 2009, national service programs have been expanded and includes specific mention of participation of service for individuals with disabilities and identification of service contributing to employment for participants.
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