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Minority Business Owners Get Needed Funds

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has announced the availability of approximately $2.3 million in funding for the Add Us In initiative, which will fund up to four cooperative agreements with allotments ranging from $500,000 to $625,000 each.  The initiative is designed to increase the ability of companies to employ individuals with disabilities, particularly businesses owned and operated by African-Americans; Asian-Americans; Latino or Hispanic Americans; members of federally recognized tribes and Native Americans; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; and women.

"This administration is committed to broadening job opportunities for all Americans, including individuals with disabilities," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  "The Add Us In initiative aims to help businesses develop effective, replicable models, strategies and policies to ensure people with disabilities have access to a broader range of employment opportunities."

Eligible applicants are consortia having representation from each of the following four organization types: 1) An association of targeted businesses, a business association located in a target population community, or other similar entity; 2) a disability-serving organization; 3) a local workforce investment board or other organization with demonstrated experience in providing training and employment-related support services, such as a One-Stop Career Center; 4) and a youth-serving organization.

In addition to developing models, strategies and policies to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities, a consortium must also form and strengthen connections among the four organization types by building a network of disability and diversity experts.

The full announcement for this grant opportunity can be found at http://www.grants.gov or http://www.dol.gov/odep.  Applications will be accepted until Sep. 1, 2010.  In addition, there will be a prospective applicant webinar held for this grant competition.  The date and access information for the webinar will be posted on ODEP's website in the near future athttp://www.dol.gov/odep.

U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov.  The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request.  Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.  The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations.  For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.



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