White House Announces Recipients of $450 Million of Job-Driven Training Grants

Vice President Biden, Secretary Thomas E. Perez, and Secretary Arne Duncan are announcing the winners of $450 million in job-driven training grants going to nearly 270 community colleges across the country. The funding is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training TAACCCT competitive grant program, which is co-administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Education.

The grants will provide community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to partner with employers to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that will help job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in industries like information technology, health care, energy, and advanced manufacturing.

In NY, the Onondaga Pathways to Careers (OPC) project will increase access and enrollment for youth and young adults with disabilities in Career and Technical programs aligned with high-growth industries and occupations.  The project will leverage the State University of New York T.E.A.M. Educational Pathways grant funded in Round II of TAACCCT, which offers employer-validated curriculum, fast-track developmental education, prior learning assessments, and work-based learning partnerships, to expand opportunities for students with disabilities. They will also strengthen the continuum of education and training with multiple “on- and off-ramps” by leveraging the networks, resources, and programs developed through the TAACCCT Advanced Manufacturing project, including the new Advanced Manufacturing Certificate, which was completed with active participation of employers and approved by New York State Education Department for launch in fall 2014.

Learn more via FACT SHEET: Vice President Biden Announces Recipients of $450 Million of Job-Driven Training Grants | The White House.


APSE Webinar: Raising Student Knowledge and Skill about Transportation Options to Improve the Successful Transition to Post School Settings

Date:   October 1, 2014     |     Time:  2pm-3pm Eastern

Presenter: Judy L. Shanley, Ph.D., Director, Student Engagement & Mobility Management, Easter Seals

Description:  Lack of access to inclusive transportation serves as a challenge for persons with disabilities in accessing employment, participating in higher education, and living in the community. Easter Seals transportation education curriculum provides tools to educators, human services, families, and transit to implement a transportation continuum. The materials can be integrated in career planning for students as they transition from high school to post-school settings. This webinar will also introduce attendees to community mobility management systems that serve as an additional resource for people with disabilities in accessing reliable transportation.

Learn more via Webinars – Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst.

Funding, News

Transformation Agreement | OPWDD

From NYS OPWDD: “New York State and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS have identified a series of shared goals that will improve opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities in the areas of employment, integrated living, and self-direction of services. These goals are captured in a transformation agreement. They include:

  • Developing new service options to better meet the needs of individuals and families in a truly person-centered way, including allowing for more self-direction of services;
  • Creating a specialized managed care system that recognizes the unique needs of people with disabilities, and is focused on a habilitative model of services and supports;
  • Ensuring that people live in the most integrated community settings;Increasing the number of individuals who are competitively employed;
  • Focusing on a quality system that values personal outcome goals for people, such as an improved life or access to meaningful activities; and
  • Working to make funding in the system sustainable and transparent.

To support the transformation agreement, OPWDD will have access to additional funding and technical assistance through the federal government’s Balancing Incentives Program. OPWDD will also begin participating in New York’s Money Follows the Person demonstration, which lends federal financial support for individuals who wish transition from institutional settings into community settings. Updates will be posted in this section of our website.”

Read for via Transformation Agreement | OPWDD.


The Global Happiness Project | New Tech Network

This project, which took place throughout the spring of 2014, asked teachers and students around the world to explore the following questions:

  • What elements contribute to a happy and healthy society?
  • How well do our own local and global communities measure up?
  • How can we use data, creativity, and community to make the world a happier place?

Through the Global Happiness Project, students engaged in a virtual conversation about the components of a happy society, and co-designed and implemented a survey to measure these components at the local and global level. Later, students analyzed the results of this survey and used what they learned to inform an advocacy project designed to improve at least one area of happiness at the local or global level.

Learn more via The Global Happiness Project | New Tech Network.


Employers’ Challenge to Educators: Make School Relevant to Students’ Lives | MindShift

From MindShift: “Business leaders and economic thinkers are worried that today’s students aren’t leaving school with the skills they’ll need to succeed in the workplace. Representatives from tech companies and hiring experts are looking for applicants who show individuality, confidence in their abilities, ability to identify and communicate their strengths, and who are capable of thinking on their feet.

At the recent Next New World conference hosted by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, panelists addressed the question of how the American education system can better prepare students to meet the evolving challenges of the 21st century economy.

Every panelist agreed that right now, the U.S. does not have a system that produces students that meet those needs.

‘The problem is not to get incrementally better with our current education system,’ said Tony Wagner, expert in residence at Harvard’s Innovation Lab. ‘The problem is to reimagine it.’ Wagner is not the first to call for a  make-over of the education system, and he certainly isn’t the first to advocate for content that connects with students in authentic ways or that teaches real world skills. His voice joins with the countless educators clamoring for the freedom to pursue those same goals.”

Read more, via Employers’ Challenge to Educators: Make School Relevant to Students’ Lives | MindShift.