Oswald "Oz" Mondejar

Oswald “Oz” Mondejar

Oswald “Oz” Mondejar, senior vice president of mission and advocacy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and Partners HealthCare at Home, based in Boston, was among 17 public members recently named by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez to the new Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.

The committee is described in a media release from Spaulding Rehab as a key provision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Mondejar reportedly has been recognized as a regional and national leader for his commitment to workforce development for the community with disabilities. According to the Spaulding Rehab media release, Mondejar has been praised for his role in the creation of the “Working Partners Program,” described as a public-private partnership between the Massachusetts Rehab Commission and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network that aims to build pathways to job opportunities through collaboration of the career advisors, potential employers and qualified candidates.

According to the Spaulding media release, Mondejar’s work on this program, which strives to create jobs, as well as a lifetime of mentoring and advocacy, led to his recognition as a White House “Champion of Change in Disability Employment” in October 2014.

“The supportive environment in Massachusetts for private business to collaborate with government agencies such as MRC is one I hope to draw from and bring to these efforts,” Mondejar says. “It’s an honor to be selected for this committee, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to foster awareness that hiring from the community with disabilities is more than just the right thing to do, it’s good business.”

Signed by President Obama in July 2014, WIOA helps job seekers, including those with disabilities, access services to succeed in employment and matches employers with skilled workers. Reflecting this, the committee will advise the US Secretary of Labor on ways to increase competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. This includes recommendations on the use and oversight of the certificate program under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Others reportedly selected for the committee include: Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America; Karen McCulloh, McCulloh and Associates; Santa Perez, People First of Nevada; Brian Itzkowitz, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas Inc; Christine McMahon, Fedcap; Alison Barkoff, Bazelon Center; Ruby Moore, National Disability Rights Network; Mark Perriello, American Association of People with Disabilities; Valerie Brooke, Virginia Commonwealth University; David Mank, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community; Steve Pemberton, Walgreens; Cesilee Coulson, Washington Initiative for Supported Employment; Sharyn Hancock, Workforce Essentials Inc; Rita Landgraf, Delaware State Department of Health and Social Services; Lisa Pugh, Disability Rights Wisconsin; and Fredric Schroeder, Interwork Institute at San Diego State University.

More information about the committee, upcoming meetings and members can be found at http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/WIOA.htm.

[Source: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital]