Kessler Foundation has awarded approximately $2.3 million in grants to organizations across the United States that support initiatives that create or expand job training and employment efforts for people with disabilities.

More than $1.5 million in Signature Employment Grants—the Foundation’s largest grants—have been distributed to launch four initiatives in four states. These grants, which range from $200,000 to $500,000 over a 2-year period, support pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that lead to the generation of new ideas to increase employment among people with disabilities.

“Through these grants, the Foundation aims to bring awareness to the diverse and often overlooked talent pool that is individuals with disabilities,” says Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler Foundation, in a media release.

“Finding and retaining skilled employees is a challenge for many companies today. Our National Employment and Disability Survey, Supervisor Perspectives, however, found that many companies are underutilizing recruitment practices that can help them achieve their hiring goals. These grants support model initiatives that help pave new directions for increasing inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.

Signature Employment Grants were presented to the Autism Alliance of Michigan; the State University of Iowa, Center for Disabilities and Development’s initiative, the Midwest Disability Employment Consortium: Just in Time Employment Supports; Easter Seals Staffing Network, a project of Easter Seals Serving DC/MD/VA; and Communication Service for the Deaf Inc’s Works Job Club.

Community Employment Grants totaling more than $624,000 were distributed to 17 programs that aim to advance job training and employment opportunities for New Jersey residents with disabilities. Each grant ranged from $50,000 to $200,000 over 2 years.

Special Initiative Grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for a period of 1 year, and by invitation only, were distributed to 11 programs throughout New Jersey that benefit children, veterans, and other adults with disabilities. In total, $146,000 was distributed.

“Throughout 2017, our recent National Trends in Disability Employment report has shown an improvement in the proportion of people with disabilities who are working. To help continue these positive employment trends, we need stimulating ideas from the field that spark new models that are scalable, and may be models for policy change,” adds Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, senior vice president of grants and communications at Kessler Foundation, in the release.

“Every year our search for organizations that strive to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities continues.”

Kessler Foundation is accepting applications now for its 2018 grant programs, per the release. To learn more and to apply, visit Kessler Foundation. Signature Employment Grant applications must be submitted by February 18th, and Community Employment Grant applications are due by April 9th.

[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, PRWeb]