U.S. Department of Labor announces $20 million Grants to support Americans

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of $20 million in grants to help Americans who are injured or ill remain in or return to the workforce. The grants are intended to identify new, replicable strategies to help individuals with a work-related disability stay on the job.

The grants represent the first phase of funding for Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) Demonstration Projects, which will be administered by the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), in partnership with the Department’s Employment and Training Administration  and the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The Department anticipates awarding up to eight grants of approximately $2.5 million each to be spent over an 18-month period for planning and start-up activities, including the launch of a small pilot demonstration.

It also anticipates Phase Two will span 42 months, including 30 months for project implementation and 12 for closeout and final assessment activities. The SSA will administer an independent evaluation of the RETAIN projects.

According to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, “America’s workforce is strengthened by the participation of all Americans. After an injury or illness, it is critical for workers to have the ability to return to the labor force as quickly as possible. These grants will help develop innovative strategies that enable injured or ill Americans to return to work so they can support themselves and provide for their families.”

Successful applicants will propose coordinated employment and health services through an integrated network of partners, including state and/or local workforce development agencies; health-care systems and/or provider networks; and other strategic partners, such as employers or insurers.

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