Massachusetts

States - Big Screen

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusetts VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
-0.14%
Change from
2018 to 2019
6,892,503
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
374,288
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
155,507
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
8.06%
Change from
2018 to 2019
41.55%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
2.03%
Change from
2018 to 2019
81.76%

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 6,859,819 6,902,149 6,892,503
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 396,597 384,133 374,288
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 149,633 146,757 155,507
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,167,434 3,186,731 3,238,241
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 37.73% 38.20% 41.55%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 80.18% 80.10% 81.76%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.70% 3.30% 2.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.20% 20.10% 19.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10% 8.60% 8.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 381,353 367,406 370,156
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 422,624 423,726 414,937
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 648,560 640,565 629,947
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 68,969 65,720 68,145
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 99,390 103,017 103,632
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,710 2,620 5,445
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 30,265 25,483 24,240
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A 215
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 22,212 21,062 24,884
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 31,261 35,279 32,217

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,789 9,873 9,967
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.90% 6.10% 6.20%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 199,966 194,364 188,851

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,433 1,579 1,546
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 6,222 7,113 6,988
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 17,188 12,027 11,772
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 14.20% 13.10% 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.70% 6.30% N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.30% N/A 7.70%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,620 1,186 N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,362 1,454 1,456
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,126 10,735 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2013 2014 2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 75 53 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 51 36 48
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 68.00% 68.00% 75.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.76 0.53 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.00% 31.00% 33.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 14,410 11,511 11,152
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,295 317,606 310,618
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 11 27 31
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 88 135 135

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $53,287,000 $53,052,182 $53,636,282
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $3,949,000 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $171,505,000 $171,110,168 $170,451,668
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $80,835,000 $92,170,983 $99,766,711
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 42.00% 40.00% 40.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 6,299 6,482 6,798
Number of people served in facility based work. 719 N/A N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 9,021 9,195 9,376
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 98.80 99.84 102.77

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.34% 62.82% 63.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.05% 13.82% 13.40%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.81% 6.93% 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00% 99.80% 97.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 53.83% 49.64% 50.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 81.31% 83.13% 79.37%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 93.74% 94.43% 87.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 27.48% 33.49% 29.37%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2018 2019 2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 16 17 5
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 1 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 16 18 5
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 1,337 925 250
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 8 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 1,337 933 250

 

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First

~~MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets quarterly; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams, the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE), the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Association (MRA), and other provider trade groups across the Commonwealth. In addition, MRC District Contract Supervisors also conduct quarterly on-site review meetings to assess performance and provide feedback to assist CRPs providing services for MRC. (Page 258) Title IV

9. Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. MRC staff are also reviewing and researching the Vermont Progressive Employment model as part of MRC’s efforts to develop a new innovative initiative with the Department of Mental Health using state funding as described above. (Pages 278-279) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~The lower numbers overall of OSCC customers who also work with partner agencies such as TANF/ SNAP and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission signal an opportunity for the Massachusetts Workforce System to reverse this trend. Beyond the One-Stop Career Centers, our system continues to be engaged in various programs and partnerships that incorporate additional workforce activities and supportive services. Leveraging programs that multiple agencies and workforce partners share in utilizing is key in to this effort under WIOA. (Page 34) Title I

The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements). (Page 50) Title I

Utilize federal and state resources to support job-driven, integrated education and training adult basic education participants including leveraging workforce resources to create these models (e.g. the use of ITAs for Title II participants). (Page 56) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

KEY GOALS, OUTCOMES and WIOA STRATEGIES CHART The federal portal doesnot provide the ability to include this chart/graphic in the State Plan submission. Please review the missing information by viewing the copy of Massachusetts State Plan posted on www.mass.gov/massworkforce/state-plan/ Key Goals Align Economic, Education and Workforce Systems to Labor Market OSCC Priority of Services for Individuals with Barriers to Employment (Disabilities, Low-Skilled, Low-Income, TANF/SNAP, Veterans, etc.) Redesign and Coordinate Business Services (Demand-Driven 2.0) Expected Outcomes Resources and career pathways organized to economic need • Create deeper service pathways at OSCCs • Increase credentialing and job placement rates Increase outcomes for businesses Strategy (WIOA Lever / Tool for Change) Regional Planning (Workforce Skills Cabinet Initiative leveraging WIOA requirement for Regional Planning) Reductions in OSCC Customer Volume (improving economy) (Pages 71-72) Title I

Education Partnerships, Leveraging Resources for Education, and Access to Post—Secondary Credentials The vision for the WIOA Plan to organize and promote the progression of individuals along career pathways depends upon a larger number of individuals moving into post—secondary attainment of credentials in order to meet the job demand in the Massachusetts economy. While higher education is not a required Core Partner program in WIOA, our higher education system, represented by the Department
pg. 86of Higher Education, is a key partner on the WIOA Steering Committee and in the implementation of the WIOA Plan. State leaders will focus on new strategies that assist more individuals, especially individuals with limited education and skill, in accessing higher education. That includes building on the state’s past success with the USDOL TAACCT initiatives. (Pages 85-86) Title I

As discussed in Section II goals and strategies, the Commonwealth developed its Economic Development Plan with significant input from the education and workforce systems. The Economic Development Plan is being utilized in the development of the WIOA State Plan. In addition, the Governor is leveraging the required WIOA regional planning process to create a new, integrated regional planning process (to be named) across the economic, education, and workforce Secretariats. The new regional planning structure will be based on an aligned regional map between workforce areas, economic development, and education regions. The new process will require seven coordinated teams led by Workforce Development Boards, Community Colleges and Vocational Technical Schools, and economic development (Massachusetts Office of Business Development) with additional partners (business leaders, community—based—organizations, etc.) to ensure that education and training systems are focused on the career pathways needed in the regional economy. The regional leadership from economic development will therefore drive the activities of the Workforce Development Boards and key WIOA partners through the resulting regional plans. (Pages 87-88) Title I

As WIOA is placing an emphasis on workforce development and preparing individuals for employment in a demand —driven system, occupational skills training and work experience program models will be encouraged. More robust career planning and training for occupations linked to industry needs are necessary. The procurement policy will place an emphasis on serving out—of—school youth ages 16—24, particularly out—of—school youth who are 22—24 year—olds and who are disconnected from service and resources. Local areas will be required to design pathways for youth, which are reflective of youth service needs as well as labor market and business needs. Co—enrollment between core partner programs will be encouraged to the extent possible in the local areas. Local areas will be encouraged to outreach to the core program partners for recruitment of WIOA eligible youth. A referral process between the core programs will be established to identify the roles and responsibilities of the respective program staff. Leveraging core program resources will lead to improved outcomes as well as a system that streamlining services for youth. (Page 138) Title I

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014-2015). The value of the Massachusetts DEI model is that it links access to education, credential training and job training with benefits counseling with utilization of the federal Ticket to Work Program. Prior grants and resources for this population were solely focused on employment and did not expand work to enroll more individuals into post-secondary or training programs. (Page 77) Title I

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One—Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One—Stop Employment System (MOSES) —— a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: • Title I Adult • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs) • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response) • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI) • Title I Youth • Migrant Seasonal Farm Worker (MSFW) • Unemployment Insurance employment assistance services and programs including Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) (Page 90) Title I

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One—Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter—communication regarding clients. (Pages 531-532) Title IV

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Goal IV: Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of vocational rehabilitation services delivery, as measured by the Rehabilitation Council’s annual evaluation of the agency‘s progress toward the goal.
Priorities… -Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills . (Page 359) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission -Vocational Rehabilitation for the Disabled provides services to adults, students, and youth over the age of 16 with disabilities so they can gain and maintain employment. This program is administered by the state, but is bound by federal rules tied to the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Funding primarily comes from federal sources with this line item accounting for state matching and maintenance of effort funds. The main goal of this program is to assist people with disabilities choose, obtain, and maintain competitive employment. Services offered include:
•Job-driven competitive employment and training services, including direct job placement service, partnerships with employers, on-the-job trainings (OJT), work-based learning experiences, paid internships, with a focus on high-growth industries and employment opportunities.
•Pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities.
• Vocational counseling, guidance, and career development. (Page 37) Title I

DSU's plans The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 201-202) Title I
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has established interagency cooperation between public education and public vocational rehabilitation agency regarding vocational rehabilitation services pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) to provide individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post-school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living and community participation. 
MRC continues to work to increase collaboration with educational officials, and has worked with DESE to outline interagency cooperation in a formal agreement entitled “Administrative Advisory on Pre-Employment Transition Services and Transition Services”. (Page 202) Title I

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) have developed this advisory to Local Educational Authorities (LEAs) as described below and in other sections of this document to:  1. define and describe Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) offered through MRC for students with disabilities, including which students may be appropriate for these services; 2. Establish collaborative practices between MRC vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors and Local Educational Agency (LEA) personnel for the provision of Pre-ETS. MRC provides two types of services for students with disabilities, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), and transition services through an Individualized Plan for Employment  o All students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) may receive Pre-ETS, including but not limited to those receiving services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan, and are either eligible for MRC VR services or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. Pre-ETS are provided as generalized services to groups of students, or as individualized services. (Page 202) Title I

MRC provides the five Pre-ETS services required under WIOA:
• Job exploration counseling. 
• Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school, after-school, or community-based opportunities such as internships. Work-based learning experiences must be provided in an integrated setting in the community to the maximum extent possible. 
• Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs.
• Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living. 
• Instruction in self-advocacy, including peer mentoring.  MRC will make Pre-ETS available to all students with disabilities statewide who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC services. MRC will make every effort to provide or coordinate Pre-ETS services to ensure statewide availability. (Page 202-203) Title I

Students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) who are determined eligible for MRC Vocational Rehabilitation services can receive additional transition services that are not considered Pre-ETS (beyond the scope of the five Pre-ETS services) through an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) while they are still in high school and receiving special education services, and also afterwards when seeking employment, in employment, or in postsecondary education or training. Transition services delivered through an IPE might consist of vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and/or benefits counseling. 
o The IPE must be developed within 90 days or with an extension that is documented in the MRCIS case management system and approved by the MRC counselor and the student or Parent/Guardian. The IPE goal and appropriate services should be coordinated with a student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan and include the provision of Pre-ETS. High school attendance and completion should be listed as a service on the IPE. The IPE should be completed prior to high school exit for a student determined eligible for MRC services and not under an order of selection wait list. (Page 203) Title IV

LEAs will collaborate with VR counselors to identify students with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to reach out to identified students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.
•LEAs will inform the student, parent/guardian, and other IEP Team members of the availability of Pre-ETS provided by MRC, and connect the student and family with the VR counselor.
•LEAs will invite VR counselors to participate in IEP and 504 planning meetings, as appropriate, and with the prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority. When invited to participate in these planning meetings, MRC counselors will make every effort to participate.
•LEAs will share information e.g., student and family contact and information, student assessment data, Transition Planning Forms, IEPs, and 504 plans, with MRC counselor, with the prior consent of the family or student who has reached the age of majority, and as consistent with applicable student records laws. (Pages 202-203) Title IV

DESE and MRC staff will collaborate on transition training activities for students, families, educators, rehabilitation counselors, and other involved staff, where needed and appropriate. ESE and MRC staff at the state level will collaborate, as needed and appropriate, to produce joint guidance on WIOA, and local collaboration.
pg. 205MRC and DESE have encouraged LEAs through the administrative advisory to provide MRC staff with resources necessary for MRC’s work, such as access to meeting space, work space, and Internet connection as needed. (Pages 204-205) Title IV

LEAs are asked to collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities, including but not limited to those with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided. (Page 205) Title IV

LEAs and MRC are expected to collaborate to plan Pre-ETS for students with IEPs that are coordinated with each student’s individualized secondary transition services provided by the LEA. IEP Teams are asked document any agreed-upon VR services in the Action Plan of the Transition Planning Form, and may also document VR services in the Additional Information section of the IEP. LEAs and MRCs will collaborate to coordinate and deliver training activities and opportunities for students and families, where needed and appropriate. IEP documentation practices may vary among LEAs. Any conversation regarding MRC Pre-ETS at the IEP meeting needs to be individualized to meet the student’s needs. (Page 205) Title IV

The MRC will provide consultation and technical assistance to LEAs, which may be provided using alternative means for meeting participation (such as video conference and conference calls), to assist LEAs in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities and to coordinate Pre-ETS and other transition services. Pre-ETS can be provided to students who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. If a student is determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, this consultation and technical assistance should result in the MRC’s development of an Individualized Plan for Employment ("IPE") before the student leaves the school setting. (Page 205) Title IV

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) are mutually committed to promoting individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post—school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living, and community participation. 
pg. 207MRC will contribute at least 15% of its financial resources towards providing pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) to students to students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday). The high schools will provide in-kind contributions of staff time, space, and transition services/resources. MRC will continue to work closely with ESE to ensure adequate financial resources are available in the schools for high school students. (Pages 206-207) Title IV

MRC has assigned qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors to every public high school in the Commonwealth to coordinate the delivery of pre-employment transition services for potentially eligible or eligible students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) and transition services for students determined eligible for VR services delivered through an Individualized Plan for Employment. The LEAs assign qualified education staff to coordinate communication with MRC and to provide transition services under IDEA and 504. Applicable administrative staff are also involved in this process. (Page 207) Title IV

The MRC Area Offices will provide outreach to high schools to assist in informing all students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) of the availability of
pg. 208MRC Pre-ETS and Vocational Rehabilitation services. Outreach to these students occurs as early as possible in the transition process. MRC outreach information includes a description of the purpose of the vocational rehabilitation program, applicable eligibility requirements, referral and application procedures, and the scope of services that may be provided to eligible and potentially eligible individuals.  LEAs also collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR and Pre-ETS programs, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.  (Pages 207-208) Title IV

MRC operates a summer internship program for high school students with disabilities in partnership with employers across the Commonwealth as part of its Pre-ETS programming. This program provides paid work-based learning experiences and workplace readiness training, and provides valuable work experience and mentorship opportunities for participants. Employers are also involved as part of identifying work-based learning experiences for Pre-ETS and also as part of MRC’s Transition Pathway Services demonstration grant. MRC also is working closely with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts as part of this demonstration grant to evaluate progress and to develop and promote best practices for Pre-ETS and Work-Based learning. MRC will use lessons from this grant to incorporate best practices for coordinating pre-Employment Transition services and transition services to students and youths with disabilities.
MRC also provides OJT training specifically for youth and high school students with disabilities in vocational technical schools with CVS Health and Manpower that offer both short and long term work based learning experiences to develop both skills and job readiness. (Pages 212-213) Title IV

MRC is working closely with local school districts on transition and pre-employment transition services, including those provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). MRC has a counselor assigned to every public high school in the Commonwealth and has developed strong working relationships with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). MRC is also working to coordinate its transition services with local schools and DESE with those transition services by these provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 239) Title IV

MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 241) Title IV

Some strategies developed through this process, as described in the sections below, include development and refinement of MRC’s pre-employment transition service (Pre-ETS) contract programs, the development of a new employment model with the Department of Mental Health to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process, a pilot project with the Department of Transitional Assistance to use the concepts of the Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) model to engage and employ individuals with disabilities receiving TANF benefits, among other strategies MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Additional details on these and other strategies can be found in the following sections. (Pages 254-255) Title IV

Through its MOU with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), MRC has established a working group to identify needs and best practices to improve and expand services for students with disabilities, including pre-employment transition services. MRC is amending its MOU with DESE to further coordinate service efforts and DESE has produced guidance for local school districts on working with MRC to coordinate transition services. This is incorporated as part of MRC’s strategic planning process MRC has also hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition, coordination with educational authorities, and implementation of strategies to improve and expand services to students with disabilities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Page 258) Title IV

Transition Pathway Services Demonstration Grant Project: MRC has been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) known as the Transition Pathway Services Grant. This project will evaluate best practices for provision of work-based learning experiences to students with disabilities through a coordinated model of services provided by community partners including MRC, career centers, independent living centers, pre-employment transition vendors and local educational authorities to increase employment and/or post-secondary education opportunity for students with disabilities based on their abilities, skills, needs and employment opportunities in the local economy. (Pages 262-263) Title IV

The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 295) Title IV

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind‘s plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities include:• The development and implementation of a new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has a long-standing cooperative agreement relative to the services provided to legally blind children that was out-of-date. During the past year, the two agencies met a number of times to develop an updated agreement and to address problem areas and new initiatives. Specific provisions of the agreement are described in Section C. below. • The continued provision of consultation and technical assistance to the education agency relative to the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including pre-employment transition services and vocational rehabilitation services. • The continued transition planning by MCB and education personnel that facilitates the development and completion of students ‘individual education programs through the Chapter 688 process described in Section B. (Page 295) Title IV

Priorities: -Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition) consumers who are not going to college. -Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of school youth with the result that the number of students and youth participating increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.-Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Page 349) Title IV

Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through: implementation of the new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE); working more closely with schools and teachers of the visually-impaired; working more closely with the Massachusetts Federation for Children with Special Needs (the state Parent Training and Information Center) to provide better outreach and information to parents about pre-employment transition services, vocational rehabilitation services, and the opportunities for coordination and cooperation between MCB and school personnel; providing group pre-employment transition services both after-school and during school vacations. (Page 355) Title IV

The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services).Relevant strategies and methods:
•Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition consumers who are not going to college.
•Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of-school youth with the result that the number of students and youth who participate increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.
•Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).•Increase pre-employment transition, transition, and college students’ access to educational materials, resources and websites.
•Improve communication and collaboration among MCB staff (VR counselors, children’s service workers and social workers) in order to facilitate services to pre-employment transition consumers who have reached their fourteenth birthday and to identify on a case by case basis the most appropriate departments within MCB to meet these individuals’ needs.
•Improve communication and collaboration between MCB VR counselors and all other state, federal, contracted and private agencies providing technology, vocational training and employment services to MCB consumers, including eligible and potentially eligible pre-employment transition consumers.
•Provide appropriate after-school assistive technology and orientation and mobility services as pre-employment transition services to eligible and potentially eligible middle and high school students. •Provide appropriate job exploration and counseling pre-employment transition services such as mentorships and exposure to real life career information.
•Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills. (Pages 358-359) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements) (Page 50) Title I

Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth’s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. WIOA partners will work to:•Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand •Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment (Page 51) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

State Level Memorandum of Understanding Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenants of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. New partnerships and cross-system operations across Career Centers, Adult Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, and TANF/SNAP established through a statewide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) based on the state goals and strategies in the Plan. The State MOU (attachment C-1) was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:• Articulate a coordinated vision for organizing the broadly defined federally-funded public workforce system • Develop career pathways for business and individuals with barriers to employment or “shared” customers across WIOA programs • Define shared WIOA infrastructure costs between WIOA programs and Career Centers • Guide the establishment of 16 local area MOUs and agreements (which will require the design of partnerships and service delivery systems through the WIOA Core Program partners at the local level) (Page 70) Title I

The Open and Competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process will consist of two separate competitive processes. A regional competition will make funding available for Community Adult Learning Centers (CALCs) offering ABE and/or ESOL services, which may also include Adult Career Pathways or bridge programs, Integrated Education and Training, and Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education grant programs, etc. The regional allocations will be determined using a formula that takes into account data from the American Community Survey. Successful applicants will be awarded funding based on the quality of their responses to the 13 considerations in Title II of WIOA. They will also be awarded points based on past performance. The regional competition will be reviewed for alignment with local plans by local boards. (Page 109) Title I

Every One—Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non—discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One—Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local
WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on—site monitoring at all 32 One—Stop locations, using the set of One—Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One—Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Pages 117-118) Title I

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to:1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand 2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
pg. 2603. Assist individuals to achieve economic self—sufficiency through support services, labor—market driven credentialing, and employment4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Pages 259-260) Title I

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. 
o Work with Core Program partners to promote Career Pathways for individuals who are legally blind and to improve the one-stop delivery system. 
o Strengthen the alignment of the MCB VR program with the other core programs of the workforce development system. 
o Use state and regional labor market information analysis to develop more employment options for consumers who are legally blind, utilizing regional labor market data, regional economic development agencies, and business intelligence gathered from interactions with core partners.
o Participate in the development of a coordinated, streamlined regional strategy for business partner outreach and follow up. (Page 291) Title I

Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenets of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. The State MOU was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:
o Focus on Demand—Driven Services
o Priority on Business Customer
o Priority on Individuals with Barriers
o Streamlining Workforce Structures (Workforce Boards, Service Delivery, etc.)
o Increased Expectation to Create Partnerships Across Programs
o Requirement for Regional Planning
o Performance Metrics Across All Partners (including new Business Measures)
o Credentialing and Career Pathways (Page 511) Title IV

Expand existing Career Pathways Models in regions. Workforce Development Boards, One—Stop Career Centers and WIOA partners (TANF, MRC, MCB, Veteran’s etc.) work with ACLS to support the ABE Career Pathways models and offer comprehensive services for “shared customers”. (Page 515) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The Massachusetts Workforce Development Board, EOLWD and the Department of Career Services will encourage Workforce Areas to utilize federal WIOA funding to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including On-the-Job Training, Apprenticeship, Pay-for-Success models, and other tools on the pathway to postsecondary credentials. These pathway initiatives will leverage business feedback about the skills and credentials required to access opportunities and identify innovative entry points for job seekers with varying degrees of preparation. Utilize state resources to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including on-ramps to adult education, community colleges, career and technical education, On the Job Training, Apprenticeship and other tools to expand the capacity of regional partnerships to deliver talent to business. Currently, the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund is the vehicle for state resources. In addition, this is a recommended strategy to assist individuals with barriers to enter the labor market. (Page 56) Title I

On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeship is available to WIOA Adult and Youth customers, as appropriate; and of course these tools are available to Partner programs as funding permits. The Commonwealth supports local sector initiatives through WIOA and other funding sources (e.g. Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund), many of which incorporate work-based learning as part of the service strategy. The MassTalent Connect Initiative will use OJT as a strategy (OJTs funded through the Workforce Training Fund Program) to further build out OJT as a strategy for individuals who are long-term unemployed, and therefore eligible as Adult participants. Massachusetts is in the process of preparing the application for the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant, the goal of which is to increase utilization of Apprenticeship by 5%; MA anticipates an additional 418 Apprentices over the next 18 months. (Page 135) Title I

MRC will utilize available apprenticeship resources, including the ODEP guide to expand apprenticeship, to provide apprenticeship opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth. As an example, MRC participates in the Merit Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, MRC has obtained a copy of the ODEP guide on apprenticeships. MRC will also work with the Career Centers on providing apprenticeship opportunities for consumers. MRC has leased space at the career centers and has staff dedicated to the career centers to make available the range of career services from Career Centers for MRC consumers. (Page 264 )Title IV

MRC will utilize available apprenticeship resources, including the ODEP guide to expand apprenticeship, to provide apprenticeship opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth. As an example, MRC participates in the Merit Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, MRC has obtained a copy of the ODEP guide on apprenticeships. MRC will also work with the Career Centers on providing apprenticeship opportunities for consumers. (Page 279) Title IV

Assist the other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals who are legally blind by: offering to provide all One-Stop Career Centers with an evaluation of their accessibility to visually-impaired consumers; providing on-site VR services to legally blind consumers who have scheduled appointments at One-Stop Career Centers; providing training about blindness and visual impairment to the workforce development agencies; providing consultation to workforce development staff; working with workforce development agencies to develop apprenticeship and on-the-job training opportunities for legally blind consumers; identify job-driven training opportunities for legally blind consumers; and developing an improved referral process among the partner agencies. Since apprenticeships have seldom been available to legally blind consumers, MCB will contact the Massachusetts Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, and the Connecticut Board of Education and Services for the Blind to learn more about apprenticeships for legally blind persons and how to access opportunities through the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) or other resources in Massachusetts and New England. (Page 349) Title IV

Support the other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals who are legally blind by: offering to provide all One-Stop Career Centers with an evaluation of their accessibility to visually-impaired consumers; providing on-site VR services to legally blind consumers who have scheduled appointments at One-Stop Career Centers; providing training about blindness and visual impairment to the of workforce development agencies; providing consultation to workforce development staff; working with workforce development agencies to develop apprenticeship and on-the-job training opportunities for legally blind consumers; identify job-driven training opportunities for legally blind consumers; and developing an improved referral process among the partner agencies. (Pages 354-355) Title IV

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014-2015). The value of the Massachusetts DEI model is that it links access to education, credential training and job training with benefits counseling with utilization of the federal Ticket to Work Program. Prior grants and resources for this population were solely focused on employment and did not expand work to enroll more individuals into post-secondary or training programs. (Page 77) Title I

Individuals receiving SSI and/or SSDI benefits are presumed eligible for VR services are defined as an individual with a significant disability, and are presumptively placed in Priority 2 and will be assessed further to determine if they meet the criteria for Category 1. (Page 250) Title I

The designated state unit will coordinate activities with any other State agency that is functioning as an employment network under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program under Section 1148 of the Social Security Act. (Page 287, Page 380) Title IV

Integrated Supports and Design
Vocational Rehabilitation, Ticket—to—Work, One—Stop Career Centers, adult education and community colleges offer a range of resources to job seekers with disabilities that have greater impact on the success rate of an individual if they are leveraged.
Initial Vocational Rehabilitation assessment process offers a consumer a wide range of preparation and support services documented in an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). For the individual:
•Physical and Mental Restoration Services
•Career Counseling
•Training (OJT, Pharmacy Tech, High School Internships, Competitive Integrated Employment Services vendors, Transitional Internship Program, Transition to Adulthood Programs, etc.)
•Benefits Planning
•Assistive Technology
•Vehicle Modification
•Job Site Accommodations
•Job Coaching Services (Page 529) Title IV
 

Employer / Business Engagement

~~The WIOA legislation emphasizes the use of job-driven and industry-based training through employer engagement. MRC continues to develop and utilize Job-Driven Trainings and on-the-job (OJT) training and evaluations. MRC has found that many consumers who participate in an OJT or Job-Driven training obtain employment with the OJT or JDT and others are able to obtain employment elsewhere as a result of their participation in the OJT or JDT through which they gained a recent work experience and/or developed job-specific skills. Over the past 5 years, MRC has conducted close to 900 OJTs with employers and approximately 500 consumers have completed Job-Driven trainings with MRC employer partners. MRC has created job driven training programs to date with the Home Depot, CVS Health, Advance Auto Parts for Sales and Driver positions; Enterprise for Service Agent, Driver, and Lot Attendant, Lowes, G4S Security Solutions, the Kraft Group, MAPFRE Insurance, and Allied Barton Security Services. In addition, MRC held a job-driven training for human service jobs. (Page 212) Title I

MRC continues to focus on reaching out to employers and develop partnerships designed to lead to competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. This is tied into the emphasis of employer engagement under WIOA. MRC’s Employment Service Specialists in coordination with the Job Placement Specialists continue to outreach to employers especially to those in high growth industries, including employer accounts. (Page 272 )Title IV

MCB is currently exploring the best avenues to solicit employers’ opinions about additional mutual cooperation to identify competitive integrated employment and career exploration and pre-employment transition opportunities for consumers and students with disabilities. The agency will use the knowledge and expertise of those Rehabilitation Council members who represent business, labor, and industry and that of the members of the Perkins Business Partnership, an alliance among Perkins, the Carroll Center for the Blind, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind in this endeavor. (Page 301) Title IV

Data Collection

MRC has a web—based Management Information System known as MRCIS, which serves as the case management and data system for MRC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Data is tracked and managed at the client level for all MRC VR consumers. The system documents and covers all aspects of the VR process from referral to exit. The system is used to produce a quarterly data file entitled the RSA—911 report submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration containing detailed client and employment data. MCB has a Management Information System known as System 7, which serves as the case management and data system for MCB’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Data is tracked and managed at the client level for all MCB VR consumers. The system documents and covers all aspects of the VR process from referral to exit. The system will be modified to produce a quarterly data file entitled the RSA—911 report submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration containing detailed client and employment data. (Page 91) Title I

Under WIOA, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is required to report VR data to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) through the RSA-911 report which will be submitted via the RSA portal on a quarterly basis with open and closed case data. As part of its WIOA reporting process to report data and to measure performance on the Common Measures to RSA, MRC will require individual level wage data from Unemployment Insurance data. MRC will be required to report data for consumers exiting from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program both successfully and unsuccessfully at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter after exit from the VR program for the following fields from Unemployment Insurance data from DUA based on Social Security Numbers provided by MRC to DUA using a secure interchange method of data transmission. (Page 114-115) Title I

Goal 4: Maximize Employment Retention for MRC Consumers Successfully Employed at Exit from Vocational Rehabilitation at the Second Quarter after Exit. Measurement: Employment Rate at the 2nd Quarter after Exit for MRC Consumers closed during the Current Program Year (Successful and Unsuccessful closures) based on Unemployment Insurance Wage Earnings Target: Continue to establish baseline data over the next 2 program years Data Source: Closure Data from MRCIS Case Management System, RSA—911 Report, Unemployment Insurance Quarterly Wage Data Frequency: Annually Goal 5: Maximize Employment Retention for MRC Consumers Successfully Employed at Exit from Vocational Rehabilitation at the Fourth Quarter after Exit Measurement: Employment Rate at the 4th Quarter after Exit for MRC Consumers closed during the Current Program Year (Successful and Unsuccessful closures) based on Unemployment Insurance Wage Earnings Target: Continue to establish baseline data over the next 2 program years Data Source: Closure Data from MRCIS Case Management System, RSA—911 Report, Unemployment Insurance Quarterly Wage Data Frequency: Annually (Page 245) Title IV

Goal 11: Maximize the number of Consumers Exiting the MRC VR Program whose Primary Source of Economic Support is from their own Employment Earnings Measurement: Proportion of Individuals Successfully Closed in Status 26 in the current fiscal year with a RSA—911 Employment Status Code of Competitive Employment in MRCIS with hourly wages at or above minimum wage (the higher of either State or Federal Minimum Wage, currently is $11.00 in Massachusetts) whose Primary Source of Support at Closure is Personal Income (Code 1) minus the proportion of those consumers whose primary source of support at application was personal income (Code 1). Target: At or above 58% Data Source: MRCIS Case Management System, Monthly Standards and Indicators Tracking Report Frequency: Monthly, Annually. (Page 246-247) Title I

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~On a regular basis, the ESE will monitor LEAs’ development and use of policies and procedures, including those regarding Section 504 and the transition requirements of IDEA. All monitoring reports will be made publicly available on the ESE’s web site. The ESE has provided guidance to LEAs, in accordance with 34 CFR 397.31, entitled “Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment” to inform LEAs that WIOA prohibits LEAs from entering into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in 34 CFR 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program under which a youth with a disability is engaged in subminimum wage employment. The ESE assures that it will not enter such a contract or other arrangement. (Page 206) Title I

Administration of the Provision of VR Services:
h. comply with the requirements for the conduct of semiannual or annual reviews, as appropriate, for individuals employed either in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or any other employment under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as required by section 101(a)(14)of the Rehabilitation Act. (Pages 286-287, Page 380) Title IV
 

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

In order to create and implement the One—Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA—mandated career center operator competitive selection process. Additionally, through the One—Stop Career Center standards development process, career center responsive service delivery structure was determined to be a critical element in career center operation. This includes assessing the career center location for accessibility to the communities it serves, whether hours of operation are responsive to all partners’, possessing adaptive technology, and ADA—compliance. The Workforce Development Board Certification (WDB) Workgroup, a sub—committee of the WIOA Jobseeker and Employer Steering Committee, is designing standards for Workforce Board certification pursuant to new WIOA responsibilities. These new Workforce Board standards will be incorporated into enhanced local and regional delivery and project models and related policies. The standards include the examination of board systems to conduct comprehensive annual reviews for programmatic and physical accessibility, including level of engagement of the disability community in conducting these reviews. New standards for certification will also require Workforce Boards to demonstrate how One—Stop Career Centers are incorporating a universal design approach as the basis of standards for accessibility, ensuring a comprehensive process that focuses on both programmatic and physical access to meet the needs of a full array of customers. Every One—Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non—discrimination. (Page 117) Title I

The Massachusetts Department of Career Services adheres to Section 188 of WIA, The Governors Executive Order No. 478, and the Mass Workforce Policy No. 01—35. All One—Stops in the regions have incorporated practices to effectively serve persons with disabilities through required assistive technology and equipment at each center. Accessibility to serve job seekers with a disability is reviewed annually. Standard adaptive equipment for One—Stop Career Center’s include: ZoomText, Jaws, Scanner for Jaws/ZoomText, Dragon Naturally Speaking hands—free voice activated software, Braille Labeler, Assistive listening devices, Text TTY line, height adjustable tables, and Trackball mouse, and other assistive technology. (Page 118) Title I

MRC will continue to consult with core partners on the identified needs of their consumers as it relates to accessibility and access to employment opportunities, employment training, and provide employer trainings on disability awareness and job accommodations. MRC is reaching out to its core partners as part of its next needs assessment to gather additional data on the needs of individuals in the overall workforce system to complement and further enhance the CSNA process going forward. (Page 238) Title I

MRC has completed a project to translate all consumer correspondence letters from the MRCIS web-based case management system into seven commonly used foreign languages in Massachusetts, including Khmer, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese (Mandarin). This will help to enhance services and accessibility to consumers in the Asian community. The letters have been posted to MRC’s intranet for counselors to use and have been directly incorporated into MRCIS. (Page 269, Page 273) Title I

The MCB RC has made the following recommendations for FFY 2019 on VR services o Make budget recommendations and advocate, when appropriate, to ensure that MCB both receives sufficient VR funding and provides appropriate and cost-effective services for consumers; o Through interaction with pertinent MCB staff, as well as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the AIM Library, continue to try to ascertain the number and percentage of blind students currently receiving braille instruction and orientation and mobility instruction, and what criteria are being used to make such decisions; o Ensure that MCB’s social services and vocational rehabilitation staff can fully participate in IEP meetings for children and youth; o Enhance the service delivery of MCB VR counselors to increase job development activities, job placement services, technology services, job retention, and job coaching services to all individuals (including individuals with other disabilities in addition to blindness) receiving vocational services at MCB regional offices; o Work with committee chairs to grow and increase the productivity of RC committees; o Work and advocate for accessibility of state and local government portal systems, including all applications for services and all documents posted on these portals; (Page 289) Title I

Veterans

How the State intends to provide employment, training and job placement services to veterans and eligible persons under the JVSGAll customers who appear for services at the Career Center are asked if they are a Veteran. If the customer identifies as a Veteran they are immediately informed of their Priority of Service status. Career Center staff first offer the Veteran a spot in the next Career Center Seminar (orientation) the main portal into the Massachusetts Workforce Development and Career Center System. This orientation provides all customers including Veterans information on, and access to, the full array of services, programs and activities available at or accessible from the Career Center. As part of the orientation the Veteran will complete a self— assessment of their work search strategies, if appropriate, complete the Career Readiness 101 assessment, complete a job profile and with a career counselor and establish the next appropriate step in their Career Plan. If appropriate due to determination that the Veteran customer has significant barriers to employment the Veteran will be referred to the DVOP. If the Veteran customer prefers not to attend a CCS they are provided with information on the full array of services available and scheduled for the next appropriate service. If they asked to speak with a Veteran representative they will be referred to that Veteran representative. (Page 436) Title IV

A second key partnership exists with the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS). Through this agency, each Commonwealth town and municipality has an assigned Veterans’ Services Officer to provide a wide range of benefits and services to Veterans. Cross training and relationship building at the state and local level have enhanced our ability to quickly address the needs of Veterans. Both the VA and the DVS regularly participate in local, regional and statewide Veterans’ programs, events and training sessions. The Department of Career Services will utilize JVSG incentive funds to support the attendance of both JVSG and non-JVSG staff at the annual National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Veterans Conference.Outreach and linkage to those Veterans most in need of individualized services is an ongoing top priority. Local DVOPs have direct contact and coordination with homeless Veteran shelters (HVRP grantees) to provide direct services and training program opportunities leading to gainful employment and self-sufficiency. Included in these outreach efforts are broad-based marketing and promotion of Veteran-oriented events, job fairs and education/training programs. (Page 438) Title IV

Massachusetts provides training on the implementation of Veterans’ Priority of Service. Training is provided to DVOPs, LVERs, One—Stop Career Center Directors and Operations Managers, Local Workforce Boards, Career Center Staff, Core Partners and other workforce partner personnel to further assure full and effective implementation of Veterans’ priority of service requirements at the local level. The training emphasizes: • Identifying “the point of entry” of federal employment and training programs in order for covered persons to take full advantage of priority of services. • That staff must assure that at the initial contact point (point of entry) covered persons are made aware of: o their entitlement to priority of service; o the full array of employment, training, and placement services; and o any applicable eligibility requirements for those programs or services. • That local policies and procedures must ensure: o monitoring and evaluation of priority of service will be incorporated within monitoring policies and procedures; and o all reporting requirements will be met. (Page 440) Title IV

7. Develop career pathway maps or service flowcharts for veterans who are “shared customers” between local One—Stop Career Centers and the Department of Veterans’ Services and other key partners. Local MOU partners can customize the template developed by the WIOA Steering Committee (ATTACHMENT C—7). The local area partners will identify the roles for each Partner in supporting career pathway development specifically for Veterans.In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local partners could consider the following areas for shared resources to:a) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers who are Veterans at One—Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP)/Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER), Department of Veterans resources, use of TORQ for career counseling, Career Ready 101, NCRC testing, employer industry panels job seekers, resources for Veteran’s with disabilities (e.g. access to support and adaptive technologies) etc. (Could be offered at various sites.)b) Creation of a referral processes for directing Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) to local DVOPs and other appropriate services. (Page 517) Title IV

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~7. Response to Recommendation on Peer Mentors:  The VR program offers peer mentoring programs through collaboration with the Independent Living Centers (ILCs). MRC will continue to ensure consumers are appropriately referred to the ILC’s for Peer mentoring services including mentoring around employment. Peer mentoring from the ILCs is a key part of two current grant projects, including the Transition Pathway Service grant and the Kessler Foundation Career Pathway Services grant. MRC will evaluate the results of these initiatives 
MRC does not have the resources to develop this type of training program, but MRC can have discussions with the ILCs to determine if this type of mentoring happens, and if not, how we can ensure a structure is put in place. With future collaborative projects in the works with the Department of Mental Health, MRC will incorporate the Peer Specialist Model within our VR offices, thus adding a very different mentoring feature to Vocational Rehabilitation. (Page 198) Title I

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission continues to promote the collaboration with stakeholders regarding supported employment services and extended services. This is also evidenced in the number of joint funded programs that have been established. Some examples of these collaborative programs are joint funding of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities between the MRC and the Developmental Disability Services (DDS); for individuals with mental health needs between MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH); for individuals who have traumatic brain injuries between the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. MRC has Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with DDS and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). These MOUs are designed to improve collaboration, coordination and utilization of joint agency resources in ensuring quality service delivery and long term supports that result in competitive/supported employment outcomes for mutual consumers. This collaboration is at the Regional and local levels. Through developing a process for conducting joint-service planning, local liaisons/training and joint service planning, all consumers and specifically transition aged individuals be better served and able to achieve successful employment outcomes. (Page 209-210) Title I

MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) are working collaborative to coordinate and improve services to shared consumers to assist them in their efforts to obtain employment and living independently in the community. MRC and DMH have developed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide efforts to work collaboratively to identify the individuals that they mutually serve through implementing an ongoing data collection system, to foster joint service planning and interagency training to increase employment opportunities and positive employment outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness. The MOU will be revised as needed. (Page 217) Title I

MRC and DMH are also collaborating on a pilot project for shared consumers in 3 areas designed to develop and/or enhance service delivery strategies and services through a collaborative team model approach to improve the time it takes a consumer to move from program eligibility to receiving services; rapidly moving consumers into successful employment opportunities based on their abilities, skills, and interests. Competitive employment for participants is the objective in which consumers are matched to opportunities in demand in the local job market. The teams will track both qualitative and quantitative results through this document to measure the effectiveness and the development of this model over time. In addition, MRC and DMH are developing an employment initiative with state funding to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. MRC will develop a new employment model based on the Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using this new model. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process. (Page 219) Title I

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission continues to promote the collaboration with stakeholders regarding supported employment services and extended services. This is also evidenced in the number of joint funded programs that have developed. Some examples of these collaborative programs are joint funding of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities between the MRC and the Developmental Disability Services (DDS); for individuals who are psychiatrically disabled between MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH); for individuals who have traumatic brain injuries between the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. (Page 254) Title IV

In addition, MRC and DMH are developing an employment initiative with state funding to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. MRC will develop a new employment model based on the Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using this new model. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process and will involve CRPs. (Page 258) Title IV

3. DMH Pilot Project and Employment Initiative: MRC and the Department of Mental Health are collaborating on a pilot project for shared consumers in 3 areas designed to develop and/or enhance service delivery strategies and services through a collaborative team model approach to improve the time it takes a consumer to move from program eligibility to receiving services; rapidly moving consumers into successful employment opportunities based on their abilities, skills, and interests. Competitive employment for participants is the objective in which consumers are matched to opportunities in demand in the local job market. The teams will track both qualitative and quantitative results through this document to measure the effectiveness and the development of this model over time.
In addition, as part of this effort, MRC and DMH are developing a new employment initiative to be supplemented with additional state funds from DMH to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. This project will use a new employment model based on the Vermont Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using a rapid engagement process. (Pages 277-278) Title I
 

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 
Displaying 1 - 10 of 73

Veterans' employment representatives - 03/24/2020

“Job search help for veterans

Veterans' employment representatives (VERs) are state employees located in the state's MassHire Career Centers. Their job is to:

Help you organize your job searchWork with you to design your own personal employment plan, a comprehensive and flexible way to help you manage your job searchAssist you with writing your resumeHelp you to develop your job leads”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Vocational Services Utilization Guide Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) - 03/07/2020

“Vocational Rehabilitation Supportive Independent Living Services (VR/IL)

This document is a guide for both the Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and the staff of Community Rehabilitation Providers to determine which CIES service component to choose.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Work Without Limits-Events - 02/13/2020

“Work Without Limits regularly offers educational and networking events for employers, service providers, and individuals with disabilities. Our events include, but are not limited to, career fairs, our annual Raise the Bar HIRE! conference, as well as our annual Disability Mentoring Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement

$10M in Workforce Grants Awarded to Fund Training for More Than 6,500 Workers, Create 1,361 New Jobs - 02/13/2020

“[On February 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) grants that will train more than 6,500 workers and add an expected 1,361 new jobs by 2021.

The 96 grants awarded involve 133 companies from across the Commonwealth. These grants will fund customized training that promotes job growth, retention and increased opportunity for workers. Upskilling the local workforce helps Massachusetts businesses and entrepreneurs grow their businesses, become more productive and fuel a strong and resilient Bay State economy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Resource Leveraging

Veterans CARE Project - 02/11/2020

“Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) is a VA, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and City of Boston initiative to help Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find and keep good jobs. Hear from the Veterans CARE team and participating Veterans.

Veterans CARE is an initiative of the VA to support unemployed or underemployed Veterans with PTSD in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The program provides Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based approach to supported employment that emphasizes rapid job search that matches an individual’s needs and preferences, alongside integrated mental health care. IPS Employment Specialists work closely with participants’ mental health care providers to ensure that employment opportunities match their needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans

Work Without Limits Resources - 02/02/2020

“We offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Department of Developmental Services - 01/30/2020

“The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community….

The Department’s mission is to create, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully in their communities and meaningfully engage as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Secondary Transition: Transition Topics - 11/20/2019

This page is a collection of state and federal resources for students and families to help with the transition process after high school. 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

DMH Young Adult Resource Guide Transition Age Youth Services - 10/24/2019

This page has information and links for “Transition Age Youth Services in Massachusetts”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2020 - 07/02/2019

~~“Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant Fund Codes: 240Purpose: Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Massachusetts law about veterans - 06/12/2019

~~“A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on veterans' legal issues, by the Trial Court Law Libraries.”

Systems
  • Other

FY2019 Final Budget Chapter 154 AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2019 - 06/01/2019

~~“For community-based day and work programs and associated transportation costs for adults; provided, that the department shall provide transportation prioritized by need; provided further, that the department shall support individuals with disabilities who transitioned from employment services offered at sheltered workshops to community-based employment as part of the commonwealth’s employment first initiative; provided further, that any public-private partnerships with employers and non-profits shall encourage the highest level of independence among individuals with disabilities and provide options to maximize community involvement and participation; provided further, that not later than December 14, 2018, the department shall issue a report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities detailing: (a) eligible individuals who transitioned to community-based employment in fiscal year 2018 and those projected for fiscal year 2019; and (b) the number and types of transitions funded by the pilot program since its inception, delineated by fiscal year; provided further, that not less than $75,000 shall be expended to the town of Natick to support Camp Arrowhead to provide recreational programs for individuals with disabilities; and provided further, that not less than $25,000 shall be expended on the Opportunity Works for the Project SEARCH program.............................................. $210,704,791”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 30

Veterans' employment representatives - 03/24/2020

“Job search help for veterans

Veterans' employment representatives (VERs) are state employees located in the state's MassHire Career Centers. Their job is to:

Help you organize your job searchWork with you to design your own personal employment plan, a comprehensive and flexible way to help you manage your job searchAssist you with writing your resumeHelp you to develop your job leads”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Vocational Services Utilization Guide Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) - 03/07/2020

“Vocational Rehabilitation Supportive Independent Living Services (VR/IL)

This document is a guide for both the Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and the staff of Community Rehabilitation Providers to determine which CIES service component to choose.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Veterans CARE Project - 02/11/2020

“Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) is a VA, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and City of Boston initiative to help Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find and keep good jobs. Hear from the Veterans CARE team and participating Veterans.

Veterans CARE is an initiative of the VA to support unemployed or underemployed Veterans with PTSD in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The program provides Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based approach to supported employment that emphasizes rapid job search that matches an individual’s needs and preferences, alongside integrated mental health care. IPS Employment Specialists work closely with participants’ mental health care providers to ensure that employment opportunities match their needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans

Department of Developmental Services - 01/30/2020

“The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community….

The Department’s mission is to create, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully in their communities and meaningfully engage as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Secondary Transition: Transition Topics - 11/20/2019

This page is a collection of state and federal resources for students and families to help with the transition process after high school. 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

DMH Young Adult Resource Guide Transition Age Youth Services - 10/24/2019

This page has information and links for “Transition Age Youth Services in Massachusetts”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

IDEA Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools - 06/13/2019

~~This page is a list of resources, sample documents and other materials to help parents of students with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Veterans' Job Programs and Services - 06/12/2019

~~“The MassHire Department of Career Services provides employment and training services to veterans and their families. Dedicated staff is available throughout the state to help veterans transition to civilian employment. Veterans and their eligible spouses receive Priority of Service throughout the full array of services provided through the Career Center system.”

Systems
  • Other

Veterans Laws and Benefits - 04/29/2019

~~“The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is pleased to present this publication of Veterans’ Laws and Benefits, a compilation of resources regarding major state benefits in the areas of education, employment, housing, motor vehicles, property taxes, and medical assistance. Information regarding recent amendments to federal and state legislation on employment rights and federal burial benefits is also offered”

Systems
  • Other

Transition to Employment Get the Facts - 04/29/2019

~~“You can achieve competitive integrated employment even if you need job supports on an ongoing basis.The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) defines competitive integrated employment as•  Work that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis (including self-employment) that pays above minimum wage and not less than the customary rate paid by the employer for the same or similar work to individuals who have similar training, experience, and skills;•  With eligibility for the level of benefits provided to other employees in similar positions;•  At a location where employee interacts with other people who are not individuals with disabilities to the same extent as other employees without disabilities in comparable positions;•  As appropriate, presents opportunities for advancement that are similar to those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

$10M in Workforce Grants Awarded to Fund Training for More Than 6,500 Workers, Create 1,361 New Jobs - 02/13/2020

“[On February 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) grants that will train more than 6,500 workers and add an expected 1,361 new jobs by 2021.

The 96 grants awarded involve 133 companies from across the Commonwealth. These grants will fund customized training that promotes job growth, retention and increased opportunity for workers. Upskilling the local workforce helps Massachusetts businesses and entrepreneurs grow their businesses, become more productive and fuel a strong and resilient Bay State economy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits Resources - 02/02/2020

“We offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

How schools and MRC work together - 10/20/2018

~~“If you are a student with a disability, your high school staff can connect you with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and a pre-employment transition services provider (pre-ETS) to help you explore and prepare for a job or further education. MRC can help you explore interests and connect to opportunities both during and after High School.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Blueprint for Success: Partnerships - 11/01/2013

"In July 2013, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe appointed a group of disability providers, advocates and DDS leaders to examine day and employment support programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Employment Workgroup ‟s goal has been to develop a five-year plan to increase both inclusive employment opportunities and higher earning potential for individuals with ID, while phasing out the use of sheltered workshops.  The Workgroup has achieved consensus on the following plan, which is reflected in proposed changes, goals, recommendations, and timelines to achieve the desired outcomes.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment - 01/26/2019

~~“The Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment (MPTE) is a systems-change project of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. The project is designed to improve employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities transitioning from school to adult life.

MPTE is funded through September 2021 by a 5-year federal grant from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Disability Employment Initiative - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Massachusetts was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

  In 2014 Massachusetts was awarded a Round 5 grant.  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits – About Us - 07/01/2009

~~“Work Without Limits is an initiative out of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).  Our goal is to position Massachusetts as the first state in the nation where the employment rate of people with disabilities is equal to people without disabilities.Work Without Limits is a network of employers, educational institutions, employment service providers, and state and federal agencies.Through collaboration and partnership, our goal is to increase the employment of people with disabilities until it is equal to those without disabilities.Work Without Limits programs and services are geared to meet the needs of businesses that actively recruit people with disabilities, individuals with disabilities who are seeking jobs, and the employment providers that serve them.We provide training and consulting services to help build the capacity of employers, employment service providers, state agency personnel, and educational institutions in advancing workplace disability inclusion.” 

·      ·     

·     

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Work Incentives Grant (Southern Essex)

“The North Shore Employment Consortium (NoSEC), led by the Southern Essex Workforce Investment Board, will address the need for full accessibility to employment and training services for all citizens. NoSEC partners are targeting this project for people with disabilities in the nineteen cities and towns of Southern Essex County, Massachusetts. NoSEC partners will institute a cultural paradigm shift towards improved physical and programmatic accessibility. This project will include a training/marketing program for employment service providers, employers, and disabled persons, and the community at large. The project will also focus on transportation needs of disabled persons seeking employment and on the creation of relevant internships for people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Work Without Limits-Events - 02/13/2020

“Work Without Limits regularly offers educational and networking events for employers, service providers, and individuals with disabilities. Our events include, but are not limited to, career fairs, our annual Raise the Bar HIRE! conference, as well as our annual Disability Mentoring Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2020 - 07/02/2019

~~“Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant Fund Codes: 240Purpose: Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Work Without Limits - 05/08/2019

~~“ResourcesWe offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more. Check back regularly as this list is updated frequently.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary (Word document) - 01/01/2019

~~“ESE seeks to ensure that all Massachusetts students are prepared for success after high school. To attain this goal, we have been working to provide individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experiences in the academic, workplace readiness, and personal/social domains to successfully navigate to completion an economically viable career pathway in a 21st century economy. The College, Career, and Technical Education unit, working in collaboration with a variety of interagency and state level partners, provides professional development, technical assistance, and grant funding to promote strategies that help all students become college and career ready. “

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

IPS Supported Employment for Youth: Learn About IPS - 11/09/2018

~~“Agency leaders, including the agency executive director, must understand the basic principles of this approach so they can organize agency services to support the evidence-based practice. For example, leaders should know that IPS specialists help people search for regular (competitive) jobs as soon as youth express interest, and that any person who wants to pursue a career is eligible for IPS services. Administrators who know about the practice avoid developing work readiness programs because they understand that using a stepwise approach to employment is counter to IPS practice principles. Agency leaders can learn about IPS by attending IPS training with their staff. Doing so communicates to practitioners that helping people with careers is important. Another way to learn about IPS is to read this manual or a book titled Individual Placement and Support: An Evidence-based Approach to Supported Employment by Drake, Bond, and Becker, published by Oxford Press. Additional information about IPS supported employment is at www.ipsworks.org  “.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Department of Education – Transition Specialist Training Requirements - 09/22/2015

Staff who provide employment services must have subject matter knowledge of:

“Foundations and implementation of transition education and transition services;” “Individual transition assessment and system evaluation, including conducting, interpreting, and overseeing individualized formal and informal transition assessments;” “How to develop transition systems and supports which include best practices in postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, and community participation;” “Collaboration including strategies for active participation of students and families in IEP development, transition education and services, and support networks; development of partnerships with employers.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Employment First Technical Assistance - 11/01/2014

~~“On November 1, 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in conjunction with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The ARC of Massachusetts, released the [Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts]…. The blueprint outlines a plan to implement [Employment First … in Massachusetts. To assist providers with the transformation from center based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, has established the Employment First Technical Assistance Center. Through this center, the ICI provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the blueprint. Over the past year, more than 18 agencies that recently offered center-based employment supports have received technical assistance to develop expanded capacity to provide integrated employment supports, as well as community-based day services. Technical assistance is provided by ICI staff as well as a cadre of qualified consultants. A limited amount of technical assistance may be available for additional providers. “

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Employment Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days"

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Massachusetts Medicaid buy-in: Feasibility of establishing a small employer premium sharing plan for participation in MassHealth - 10/27/2018

~~“Pursuant to Chapter 47 of the Acts of 2017, this study examines the opportunities and challenges associated with allowing small employers to share premiums with or “buy into” MassHealth, the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program. Premium sharing would split the cost of covering employees who are eligible for the MassHealth program between MassHealth and the employer, while a buy in program would allow employees to enroll in a Medicaid benefit at any income but without subsidies and without federal “match” funding. Such a program could take many forms and achieve many different goals. This study outlines several approaches to premium sharing and buy-in programs and offers potential considerations for the General Court should it choose to approach this issue in the future.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration - 02/21/2018

“The MassHealth demonstration is a statewide multi-faceted health reform effort. The demonstration was initially implemented in July 1997, and has developed over time through amendments and renewals reflecting new priorities and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The demonstration authorizes Medicaid income eligibility for certain categorically eligible populations including pregnant women, parents or adult caretakers, infants, children and individuals with disabilities, and provides premium subsidies to qualifying individuals who are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) consistent with levels provided under the demonstration prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

The fifth renewal was approved October 30, 2014. It expires June 30, 2019.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Massachusetts HCBS Transition Plan - 12/01/2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule related to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Medicaid-funded long term services and supports provided in residential and non-residential home and community-based settings. The final rule took effect March 17, 2014. States are required to submit transition plans to CMS within one year of the effective date indicating how they intend to comply with the new requirements within a reasonable time period. If states amend or renew any of their currently operating waivers or state plan amendments prior to the effective date, that action serves as a trigger for the state to submit a transition plan for all its waivers under 1915(c), as well as any state plan amendments under 1915(i) or 1915(k) within 120 days of the amendment/renewal submission. The following is Massachusetts’ statewide transition plan pursuant to this requirement. The main focus of this Transition Plan is on residential supports offered through HCBS waivers.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living Waiver (1915c) - 07/01/2013

This waiver, "provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID"

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Adult Supports Waiver (0828.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Intensive Supports Waiver (0827.R01.00) [1915c] - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, day hab supplement, 24-hr self directed home sharing support, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transitional assistance services, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living (0826.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Residential Supports Waiver (1028.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides prevocational services, residential habilitation, supported employment, addiction services, assisted living, community crisis stabilization, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, residential family training, shared living 24-hr supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, transportation for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Community Living Waiver (1027.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides home health aide, homemaker, personal care, prevocational services, respite, supported employment, addiction services, adult companion, chore, community crisis stabilization, community family training, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, independent living supports, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, shared home supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, supportive home care aide, transportation, vehicle mods for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusetts VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
-0.14%
Change from
2018 to 2019
6,892,503
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
374,288
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
155,507
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
8.06%
Change from
2018 to 2019
41.55%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
2.03%
Change from
2018 to 2019
81.76%

State Data

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 6,859,819 6,902,149 6,892,503
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 396,597 384,133 374,288
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 149,633 146,757 155,507
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,167,434 3,186,731 3,238,241
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 37.73% 38.20% 41.55%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 80.18% 80.10% 81.76%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.70% 3.30% 2.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.20% 20.10% 19.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10% 8.60% 8.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 381,353 367,406 370,156
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 422,624 423,726 414,937
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 648,560 640,565 629,947
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 68,969 65,720 68,145
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 99,390 103,017 103,632
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,710 2,620 5,445
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 30,265 25,483 24,240
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A 215
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 22,212 21,062 24,884
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 31,261 35,279 32,217

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,789 9,873 9,967
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.90% 6.10% 6.20%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 199,966 194,364 188,851

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,433 1,579 1,546
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 6,222 7,113 6,988
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 17,188 12,027 11,772
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 14.20% 13.10% 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.70% 6.30% N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.30% N/A 7.70%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,620 1,186 N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,362 1,454 1,456
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,126 10,735 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2013 2014 2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 75 53 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 51 36 48
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 68.00% 68.00% 75.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.76 0.53 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.00% 31.00% 33.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 14,410 11,511 11,152
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,295 317,606 310,618
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 11 27 31
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 88 135 135

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $53,287,000 $53,052,182 $53,636,282
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $3,949,000 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $171,505,000 $171,110,168 $170,451,668
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $80,835,000 $92,170,983 $99,766,711
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 42.00% 40.00% 40.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 6,299 6,482 6,798
Number of people served in facility based work. 719 N/A N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 9,021 9,195 9,376
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 98.80 99.84 102.77

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.34% 62.82% 63.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.05% 13.82% 13.40%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.81% 6.93% 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00% 99.80% 97.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 53.83% 49.64% 50.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 81.31% 83.13% 79.37%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 93.74% 94.43% 87.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 27.48% 33.49% 29.37%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2018 2019 2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 16 17 5
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 1 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 16 18 5
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 1,337 925 250
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 8 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 1,337 933 250

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First

~~MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets quarterly; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams, the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE), the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Association (MRA), and other provider trade groups across the Commonwealth. In addition, MRC District Contract Supervisors also conduct quarterly on-site review meetings to assess performance and provide feedback to assist CRPs providing services for MRC. (Page 258) Title IV

9. Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. MRC staff are also reviewing and researching the Vermont Progressive Employment model as part of MRC’s efforts to develop a new innovative initiative with the Department of Mental Health using state funding as described above. (Pages 278-279) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~The lower numbers overall of OSCC customers who also work with partner agencies such as TANF/ SNAP and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission signal an opportunity for the Massachusetts Workforce System to reverse this trend. Beyond the One-Stop Career Centers, our system continues to be engaged in various programs and partnerships that incorporate additional workforce activities and supportive services. Leveraging programs that multiple agencies and workforce partners share in utilizing is key in to this effort under WIOA. (Page 34) Title I

The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements). (Page 50) Title I

Utilize federal and state resources to support job-driven, integrated education and training adult basic education participants including leveraging workforce resources to create these models (e.g. the use of ITAs for Title II participants). (Page 56) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

KEY GOALS, OUTCOMES and WIOA STRATEGIES CHART The federal portal doesnot provide the ability to include this chart/graphic in the State Plan submission. Please review the missing information by viewing the copy of Massachusetts State Plan posted on www.mass.gov/massworkforce/state-plan/ Key Goals Align Economic, Education and Workforce Systems to Labor Market OSCC Priority of Services for Individuals with Barriers to Employment (Disabilities, Low-Skilled, Low-Income, TANF/SNAP, Veterans, etc.) Redesign and Coordinate Business Services (Demand-Driven 2.0) Expected Outcomes Resources and career pathways organized to economic need • Create deeper service pathways at OSCCs • Increase credentialing and job placement rates Increase outcomes for businesses Strategy (WIOA Lever / Tool for Change) Regional Planning (Workforce Skills Cabinet Initiative leveraging WIOA requirement for Regional Planning) Reductions in OSCC Customer Volume (improving economy) (Pages 71-72) Title I

Education Partnerships, Leveraging Resources for Education, and Access to Post—Secondary Credentials The vision for the WIOA Plan to organize and promote the progression of individuals along career pathways depends upon a larger number of individuals moving into post—secondary attainment of credentials in order to meet the job demand in the Massachusetts economy. While higher education is not a required Core Partner program in WIOA, our higher education system, represented by the Department
pg. 86of Higher Education, is a key partner on the WIOA Steering Committee and in the implementation of the WIOA Plan. State leaders will focus on new strategies that assist more individuals, especially individuals with limited education and skill, in accessing higher education. That includes building on the state’s past success with the USDOL TAACCT initiatives. (Pages 85-86) Title I

As discussed in Section II goals and strategies, the Commonwealth developed its Economic Development Plan with significant input from the education and workforce systems. The Economic Development Plan is being utilized in the development of the WIOA State Plan. In addition, the Governor is leveraging the required WIOA regional planning process to create a new, integrated regional planning process (to be named) across the economic, education, and workforce Secretariats. The new regional planning structure will be based on an aligned regional map between workforce areas, economic development, and education regions. The new process will require seven coordinated teams led by Workforce Development Boards, Community Colleges and Vocational Technical Schools, and economic development (Massachusetts Office of Business Development) with additional partners (business leaders, community—based—organizations, etc.) to ensure that education and training systems are focused on the career pathways needed in the regional economy. The regional leadership from economic development will therefore drive the activities of the Workforce Development Boards and key WIOA partners through the resulting regional plans. (Pages 87-88) Title I

As WIOA is placing an emphasis on workforce development and preparing individuals for employment in a demand —driven system, occupational skills training and work experience program models will be encouraged. More robust career planning and training for occupations linked to industry needs are necessary. The procurement policy will place an emphasis on serving out—of—school youth ages 16—24, particularly out—of—school youth who are 22—24 year—olds and who are disconnected from service and resources. Local areas will be required to design pathways for youth, which are reflective of youth service needs as well as labor market and business needs. Co—enrollment between core partner programs will be encouraged to the extent possible in the local areas. Local areas will be encouraged to outreach to the core program partners for recruitment of WIOA eligible youth. A referral process between the core programs will be established to identify the roles and responsibilities of the respective program staff. Leveraging core program resources will lead to improved outcomes as well as a system that streamlining services for youth. (Page 138) Title I

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014-2015). The value of the Massachusetts DEI model is that it links access to education, credential training and job training with benefits counseling with utilization of the federal Ticket to Work Program. Prior grants and resources for this population were solely focused on employment and did not expand work to enroll more individuals into post-secondary or training programs. (Page 77) Title I

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One—Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One—Stop Employment System (MOSES) —— a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: • Title I Adult • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs) • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response) • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI) • Title I Youth • Migrant Seasonal Farm Worker (MSFW) • Unemployment Insurance employment assistance services and programs including Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) (Page 90) Title I

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One—Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter—communication regarding clients. (Pages 531-532) Title IV

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Goal IV: Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of vocational rehabilitation services delivery, as measured by the Rehabilitation Council’s annual evaluation of the agency‘s progress toward the goal.
Priorities… -Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills . (Page 359) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission -Vocational Rehabilitation for the Disabled provides services to adults, students, and youth over the age of 16 with disabilities so they can gain and maintain employment. This program is administered by the state, but is bound by federal rules tied to the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Funding primarily comes from federal sources with this line item accounting for state matching and maintenance of effort funds. The main goal of this program is to assist people with disabilities choose, obtain, and maintain competitive employment. Services offered include:
•Job-driven competitive employment and training services, including direct job placement service, partnerships with employers, on-the-job trainings (OJT), work-based learning experiences, paid internships, with a focus on high-growth industries and employment opportunities.
•Pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities.
• Vocational counseling, guidance, and career development. (Page 37) Title I

DSU's plans The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 201-202) Title I
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has established interagency cooperation between public education and public vocational rehabilitation agency regarding vocational rehabilitation services pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) to provide individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post-school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living and community participation. 
MRC continues to work to increase collaboration with educational officials, and has worked with DESE to outline interagency cooperation in a formal agreement entitled “Administrative Advisory on Pre-Employment Transition Services and Transition Services”. (Page 202) Title I

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) have developed this advisory to Local Educational Authorities (LEAs) as described below and in other sections of this document to:  1. define and describe Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) offered through MRC for students with disabilities, including which students may be appropriate for these services; 2. Establish collaborative practices between MRC vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors and Local Educational Agency (LEA) personnel for the provision of Pre-ETS. MRC provides two types of services for students with disabilities, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), and transition services through an Individualized Plan for Employment  o All students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) may receive Pre-ETS, including but not limited to those receiving services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan, and are either eligible for MRC VR services or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. Pre-ETS are provided as generalized services to groups of students, or as individualized services. (Page 202) Title I

MRC provides the five Pre-ETS services required under WIOA:
• Job exploration counseling. 
• Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school, after-school, or community-based opportunities such as internships. Work-based learning experiences must be provided in an integrated setting in the community to the maximum extent possible. 
• Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs.
• Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living. 
• Instruction in self-advocacy, including peer mentoring.  MRC will make Pre-ETS available to all students with disabilities statewide who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC services. MRC will make every effort to provide or coordinate Pre-ETS services to ensure statewide availability. (Page 202-203) Title I

Students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) who are determined eligible for MRC Vocational Rehabilitation services can receive additional transition services that are not considered Pre-ETS (beyond the scope of the five Pre-ETS services) through an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) while they are still in high school and receiving special education services, and also afterwards when seeking employment, in employment, or in postsecondary education or training. Transition services delivered through an IPE might consist of vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and/or benefits counseling. 
o The IPE must be developed within 90 days or with an extension that is documented in the MRCIS case management system and approved by the MRC counselor and the student or Parent/Guardian. The IPE goal and appropriate services should be coordinated with a student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan and include the provision of Pre-ETS. High school attendance and completion should be listed as a service on the IPE. The IPE should be completed prior to high school exit for a student determined eligible for MRC services and not under an order of selection wait list. (Page 203) Title IV

LEAs will collaborate with VR counselors to identify students with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to reach out to identified students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.
•LEAs will inform the student, parent/guardian, and other IEP Team members of the availability of Pre-ETS provided by MRC, and connect the student and family with the VR counselor.
•LEAs will invite VR counselors to participate in IEP and 504 planning meetings, as appropriate, and with the prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority. When invited to participate in these planning meetings, MRC counselors will make every effort to participate.
•LEAs will share information e.g., student and family contact and information, student assessment data, Transition Planning Forms, IEPs, and 504 plans, with MRC counselor, with the prior consent of the family or student who has reached the age of majority, and as consistent with applicable student records laws. (Pages 202-203) Title IV

DESE and MRC staff will collaborate on transition training activities for students, families, educators, rehabilitation counselors, and other involved staff, where needed and appropriate. ESE and MRC staff at the state level will collaborate, as needed and appropriate, to produce joint guidance on WIOA, and local collaboration.
pg. 205MRC and DESE have encouraged LEAs through the administrative advisory to provide MRC staff with resources necessary for MRC’s work, such as access to meeting space, work space, and Internet connection as needed. (Pages 204-205) Title IV

LEAs are asked to collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities, including but not limited to those with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided. (Page 205) Title IV

LEAs and MRC are expected to collaborate to plan Pre-ETS for students with IEPs that are coordinated with each student’s individualized secondary transition services provided by the LEA. IEP Teams are asked document any agreed-upon VR services in the Action Plan of the Transition Planning Form, and may also document VR services in the Additional Information section of the IEP. LEAs and MRCs will collaborate to coordinate and deliver training activities and opportunities for students and families, where needed and appropriate. IEP documentation practices may vary among LEAs. Any conversation regarding MRC Pre-ETS at the IEP meeting needs to be individualized to meet the student’s needs. (Page 205) Title IV

The MRC will provide consultation and technical assistance to LEAs, which may be provided using alternative means for meeting participation (such as video conference and conference calls), to assist LEAs in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities and to coordinate Pre-ETS and other transition services. Pre-ETS can be provided to students who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. If a student is determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, this consultation and technical assistance should result in the MRC’s development of an Individualized Plan for Employment ("IPE") before the student leaves the school setting. (Page 205) Title IV

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) are mutually committed to promoting individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post—school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living, and community participation. 
pg. 207MRC will contribute at least 15% of its financial resources towards providing pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) to students to students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday). The high schools will provide in-kind contributions of staff time, space, and transition services/resources. MRC will continue to work closely with ESE to ensure adequate financial resources are available in the schools for high school students. (Pages 206-207) Title IV

MRC has assigned qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors to every public high school in the Commonwealth to coordinate the delivery of pre-employment transition services for potentially eligible or eligible students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) and transition services for students determined eligible for VR services delivered through an Individualized Plan for Employment. The LEAs assign qualified education staff to coordinate communication with MRC and to provide transition services under IDEA and 504. Applicable administrative staff are also involved in this process. (Page 207) Title IV

The MRC Area Offices will provide outreach to high schools to assist in informing all students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) of the availability of
pg. 208MRC Pre-ETS and Vocational Rehabilitation services. Outreach to these students occurs as early as possible in the transition process. MRC outreach information includes a description of the purpose of the vocational rehabilitation program, applicable eligibility requirements, referral and application procedures, and the scope of services that may be provided to eligible and potentially eligible individuals.  LEAs also collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR and Pre-ETS programs, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.  (Pages 207-208) Title IV

MRC operates a summer internship program for high school students with disabilities in partnership with employers across the Commonwealth as part of its Pre-ETS programming. This program provides paid work-based learning experiences and workplace readiness training, and provides valuable work experience and mentorship opportunities for participants. Employers are also involved as part of identifying work-based learning experiences for Pre-ETS and also as part of MRC’s Transition Pathway Services demonstration grant. MRC also is working closely with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts as part of this demonstration grant to evaluate progress and to develop and promote best practices for Pre-ETS and Work-Based learning. MRC will use lessons from this grant to incorporate best practices for coordinating pre-Employment Transition services and transition services to students and youths with disabilities.
MRC also provides OJT training specifically for youth and high school students with disabilities in vocational technical schools with CVS Health and Manpower that offer both short and long term work based learning experiences to develop both skills and job readiness. (Pages 212-213) Title IV

MRC is working closely with local school districts on transition and pre-employment transition services, including those provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). MRC has a counselor assigned to every public high school in the Commonwealth and has developed strong working relationships with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). MRC is also working to coordinate its transition services with local schools and DESE with those transition services by these provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 239) Title IV

MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 241) Title IV

Some strategies developed through this process, as described in the sections below, include development and refinement of MRC’s pre-employment transition service (Pre-ETS) contract programs, the development of a new employment model with the Department of Mental Health to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process, a pilot project with the Department of Transitional Assistance to use the concepts of the Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) model to engage and employ individuals with disabilities receiving TANF benefits, among other strategies MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Additional details on these and other strategies can be found in the following sections. (Pages 254-255) Title IV

Through its MOU with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), MRC has established a working group to identify needs and best practices to improve and expand services for students with disabilities, including pre-employment transition services. MRC is amending its MOU with DESE to further coordinate service efforts and DESE has produced guidance for local school districts on working with MRC to coordinate transition services. This is incorporated as part of MRC’s strategic planning process MRC has also hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition, coordination with educational authorities, and implementation of strategies to improve and expand services to students with disabilities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Page 258) Title IV

Transition Pathway Services Demonstration Grant Project: MRC has been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) known as the Transition Pathway Services Grant. This project will evaluate best practices for provision of work-based learning experiences to students with disabilities through a coordinated model of services provided by community partners including MRC, career centers, independent living centers, pre-employment transition vendors and local educational authorities to increase employment and/or post-secondary education opportunity for students with disabilities based on their abilities, skills, needs and employment opportunities in the local economy. (Pages 262-263) Title IV

The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 295) Title IV

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind‘s plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities include:• The development and implementation of a new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has a long-standing cooperative agreement relative to the services provided to legally blind children that was out-of-date. During the past year, the two agencies met a number of times to develop an updated agreement and to address problem areas and new initiatives. Specific provisions of the agreement are described in Section C. below. • The continued provision of consultation and technical assistance to the education agency relative to the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including pre-employment transition services and vocational rehabilitation services. • The continued transition planning by MCB and education personnel that facilitates the development and completion of students ‘individual education programs through the Chapter 688 process described in Section B. (Page 295) Title IV

Priorities: -Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition) consumers who are not going to college. -Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of school youth with the result that the number of students and youth participating increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.-Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Page 349) Title IV

Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through: implementation of the new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE); working more closely with schools and teachers of the visually-impaired; working more closely with the Massachusetts Federation for Children with Special Needs (the state Parent Training and Information Center) to provide better outreach and information to parents about pre-employment transition services, vocational rehabilitation services, and the opportunities for coordination and cooperation between MCB and school personnel; providing group pre-employment transition services both after-school and during school vacations. (Page 355) Title IV

The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services).Relevant strategies and methods:
•Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition consumers who are not going to college.
•Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of-school youth with the result that the number of students and youth who participate increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.
•Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).•Increase pre-employment transition, transition, and college students’ access to educational materials, resources and websites.
•Improve communication and collaboration among MCB staff (VR counselors, children’s service workers and social workers) in order to facilitate services to pre-employment transition consumers who have reached their fourteenth birthday and to identify on a case by case basis the most appropriate departments within MCB to meet these individuals’ needs.
•Improve communication and collaboration between MCB VR counselors and all other state, federal, contracted and private agencies providing technology, vocational training and employment services to MCB consumers, including eligible and potentially eligible pre-employment transition consumers.
•Provide appropriate after-school assistive technology and orientation and mobility services as pre-employment transition services to eligible and potentially eligible middle and high school students. •Provide appropriate job exploration and counseling pre-employment transition services such as mentorships and exposure to real life career information.
•Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills. (Pages 358-359) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements) (Page 50) Title I

Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth’s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. WIOA partners will work to:•Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand •Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment (Page 51) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

State Level Memorandum of Understanding Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenants of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. New partnerships and cross-system operations across Career Centers, Adult Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, and TANF/SNAP established through a statewide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) based on the state goals and strategies in the Plan. The State MOU (attachment C-1) was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:• Articulate a coordinated vision for organizing the broadly defined federally-funded public workforce system • Develop career pathways for business and individuals with barriers to employment or “shared” customers across WIOA programs • Define shared WIOA infrastructure costs between WIOA programs and Career Centers • Guide the establishment of 16 local area MOUs and agreements (which will require the design of partnerships and service delivery systems through the WIOA Core Program partners at the local level) (Page 70) Title I

The Open and Competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process will consist of two separate competitive processes. A regional competition will make funding available for Community Adult Learning Centers (CALCs) offering ABE and/or ESOL services, which may also include Adult Career Pathways or bridge programs, Integrated Education and Training, and Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education grant programs, etc. The regional allocations will be determined using a formula that takes into account data from the American Community Survey. Successful applicants will be awarded funding based on the quality of their responses to the 13 considerations in Title II of WIOA. They will also be awarded points based on past performance. The regional competition will be reviewed for alignment with local plans by local boards. (Page 109) Title I

Every One—Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non—discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One—Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local
WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on—site monitoring at all 32 One—Stop locations, using the set of One—Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One—Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Pages 117-118) Title I

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to:1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand 2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
pg. 2603. Assist individuals to achieve economic self—sufficiency through support services, labor—market driven credentialing, and employment4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Pages 259-260) Title I

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. 
o Work with Core Program partners to promote Career Pathways for individuals who are legally blind and to improve the one-stop delivery system. 
o Strengthen the alignment of the MCB VR program with the other core programs of the workforce development system. 
o Use state and regional labor market information analysis to develop more employment options for consumers who are legally blind, utilizing regional labor market data, regional economic development agencies, and business intelligence gathered from interactions with core partners.
o Participate in the development of a coordinated, streamlined regional strategy for business partner outreach and follow up. (Page 291) Title I

Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenets of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. The State MOU was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:
o Focus on Demand—Driven Services
o Priority on Business Customer
o Priority on Individuals with Barriers
o Streamlining Workforce Structures (Workforce Boards, Service Delivery, etc.)
o Increased Expectation to Create Partnerships Across Programs
o Requirement for Regional Planning
o Performance Metrics Across All Partners (including new Business Measures)
o Credentialing and Career Pathways (Page 511) Title IV

Expand existing Career Pathways Models in regions. Workforce Development Boards, One—Stop Career Centers and WIOA partners (TANF, MRC, MCB, Veteran’s etc.) work with ACLS to support the ABE Career Pathways models and offer comprehensive services for “shared customers”. (Page 515) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The Massachusetts Workforce Development Board, EOLWD and the Department of Career Services will encourage Workforce Areas to utilize federal WIOA funding to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including On-the-Job Training, Apprenticeship, Pay-for-Success models, and other tools on the pathway to postsecondary credentials. These pathway initiatives will leverage business feedback about the skills and credentials required to access opportunities and identify innovative entry points for job seekers with varying degrees of preparation. Utilize state resources to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including on-ramps to adult education, community colleges, career and technical education, On the Job Training, Apprenticeship and other tools to expand the capacity of regional partnerships to deliver talent to business. Currently, the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund is the vehicle for state resources. In addition, this is a recommended strategy to assist individuals with barriers to enter the labor market. (Page 56) Title I

On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeship is available to WIOA Adult and Youth customers, as appropriate; and of course these tools are available to Partner programs as funding permits. The Commonwealth supports local sector initiatives through WIOA and other funding sources (e.g. Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund), many of which incorporate work-based learning as part of the service strategy. The MassTalent Connect Initiative will use OJT as a strategy (OJTs funded through the Workforce Training Fund Program) to further build out OJT as a strategy for individuals who are long-term unemployed, and therefore eligible as Adult participants. Massachusetts is in the process of preparing the application for the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant, the goal of which is to increase utilization of Apprenticeship by 5%; MA anticipates an additional 418 Apprentices over the next 18 months. (Page 135) Title I

MRC will utilize available apprenticeship resources, including the ODEP guide to expand apprenticeship, to provide apprenticeship opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth. As an example, MRC participates in the Merit Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, MRC has obtained a copy of the ODEP guide on apprenticeships. MRC will also work with the Career Centers on providing apprenticeship opportunities for consumers. MRC has leased space at the career centers and has staff dedicated to the career centers to make available the range of career services from Career Centers for MRC consumers. (Page 264 )Title IV

MRC will utilize available apprenticeship resources, including the ODEP guide to expand apprenticeship, to provide apprenticeship opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth. As an example, MRC participates in the Merit Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, MRC has obtained a copy of the ODEP guide on apprenticeships. MRC will also work with the Career Centers on providing apprenticeship opportunities for consumers. (Page 279) Title IV

Assist the other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals who are legally blind by: offering to provide all One-Stop Career Centers with an evaluation of their accessibility to visually-impaired consumers; providing on-site VR services to legally blind consumers who have scheduled appointments at One-Stop Career Centers; providing training about blindness and visual impairment to the workforce development agencies; providing consultation to workforce development staff; working with workforce development agencies to develop apprenticeship and on-the-job training opportunities for legally blind consumers; identify job-driven training opportunities for legally blind consumers; and developing an improved referral process among the partner agencies. Since apprenticeships have seldom been available to legally blind consumers, MCB will contact the Massachusetts Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, and the Connecticut Board of Education and Services for the Blind to learn more about apprenticeships for legally blind persons and how to access opportunities through the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) or other resources in Massachusetts and New England. (Page 349) Title IV

Support the other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals who are legally blind by: offering to provide all One-Stop Career Centers with an evaluation of their accessibility to visually-impaired consumers; providing on-site VR services to legally blind consumers who have scheduled appointments at One-Stop Career Centers; providing training about blindness and visual impairment to the of workforce development agencies; providing consultation to workforce development staff; working with workforce development agencies to develop apprenticeship and on-the-job training opportunities for legally blind consumers; identify job-driven training opportunities for legally blind consumers; and developing an improved referral process among the partner agencies. (Pages 354-355) Title IV

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014-2015). The value of the Massachusetts DEI model is that it links access to education, credential training and job training with benefits counseling with utilization of the federal Ticket to Work Program. Prior grants and resources for this population were solely focused on employment and did not expand work to enroll more individuals into post-secondary or training programs. (Page 77) Title I

Individuals receiving SSI and/or SSDI benefits are presumed eligible for VR services are defined as an individual with a significant disability, and are presumptively placed in Priority 2 and will be assessed further to determine if they meet the criteria for Category 1. (Page 250) Title I

The designated state unit will coordinate activities with any other State agency that is functioning as an employment network under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program under Section 1148 of the Social Security Act. (Page 287, Page 380) Title IV

Integrated Supports and Design
Vocational Rehabilitation, Ticket—to—Work, One—Stop Career Centers, adult education and community colleges offer a range of resources to job seekers with disabilities that have greater impact on the success rate of an individual if they are leveraged.
Initial Vocational Rehabilitation assessment process offers a consumer a wide range of preparation and support services documented in an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). For the individual:
•Physical and Mental Restoration Services
•Career Counseling
•Training (OJT, Pharmacy Tech, High School Internships, Competitive Integrated Employment Services vendors, Transitional Internship Program, Transition to Adulthood Programs, etc.)
•Benefits Planning
•Assistive Technology
•Vehicle Modification
•Job Site Accommodations
•Job Coaching Services (Page 529) Title IV
 

Employer / Business Engagement

~~The WIOA legislation emphasizes the use of job-driven and industry-based training through employer engagement. MRC continues to develop and utilize Job-Driven Trainings and on-the-job (OJT) training and evaluations. MRC has found that many consumers who participate in an OJT or Job-Driven training obtain employment with the OJT or JDT and others are able to obtain employment elsewhere as a result of their participation in the OJT or JDT through which they gained a recent work experience and/or developed job-specific skills. Over the past 5 years, MRC has conducted close to 900 OJTs with employers and approximately 500 consumers have completed Job-Driven trainings with MRC employer partners. MRC has created job driven training programs to date with the Home Depot, CVS Health, Advance Auto Parts for Sales and Driver positions; Enterprise for Service Agent, Driver, and Lot Attendant, Lowes, G4S Security Solutions, the Kraft Group, MAPFRE Insurance, and Allied Barton Security Services. In addition, MRC held a job-driven training for human service jobs. (Page 212) Title I

MRC continues to focus on reaching out to employers and develop partnerships designed to lead to competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. This is tied into the emphasis of employer engagement under WIOA. MRC’s Employment Service Specialists in coordination with the Job Placement Specialists continue to outreach to employers especially to those in high growth industries, including employer accounts. (Page 272 )Title IV

MCB is currently exploring the best avenues to solicit employers’ opinions about additional mutual cooperation to identify competitive integrated employment and career exploration and pre-employment transition opportunities for consumers and students with disabilities. The agency will use the knowledge and expertise of those Rehabilitation Council members who represent business, labor, and industry and that of the members of the Perkins Business Partnership, an alliance among Perkins, the Carroll Center for the Blind, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind in this endeavor. (Page 301) Title IV

Data Collection

MRC has a web—based Management Information System known as MRCIS, which serves as the case management and data system for MRC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Data is tracked and managed at the client level for all MRC VR consumers. The system documents and covers all aspects of the VR process from referral to exit. The system is used to produce a quarterly data file entitled the RSA—911 report submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration containing detailed client and employment data. MCB has a Management Information System known as System 7, which serves as the case management and data system for MCB’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Data is tracked and managed at the client level for all MCB VR consumers. The system documents and covers all aspects of the VR process from referral to exit. The system will be modified to produce a quarterly data file entitled the RSA—911 report submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration containing detailed client and employment data. (Page 91) Title I

Under WIOA, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is required to report VR data to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) through the RSA-911 report which will be submitted via the RSA portal on a quarterly basis with open and closed case data. As part of its WIOA reporting process to report data and to measure performance on the Common Measures to RSA, MRC will require individual level wage data from Unemployment Insurance data. MRC will be required to report data for consumers exiting from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program both successfully and unsuccessfully at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter after exit from the VR program for the following fields from Unemployment Insurance data from DUA based on Social Security Numbers provided by MRC to DUA using a secure interchange method of data transmission. (Page 114-115) Title I

Goal 4: Maximize Employment Retention for MRC Consumers Successfully Employed at Exit from Vocational Rehabilitation at the Second Quarter after Exit. Measurement: Employment Rate at the 2nd Quarter after Exit for MRC Consumers closed during the Current Program Year (Successful and Unsuccessful closures) based on Unemployment Insurance Wage Earnings Target: Continue to establish baseline data over the next 2 program years Data Source: Closure Data from MRCIS Case Management System, RSA—911 Report, Unemployment Insurance Quarterly Wage Data Frequency: Annually Goal 5: Maximize Employment Retention for MRC Consumers Successfully Employed at Exit from Vocational Rehabilitation at the Fourth Quarter after Exit Measurement: Employment Rate at the 4th Quarter after Exit for MRC Consumers closed during the Current Program Year (Successful and Unsuccessful closures) based on Unemployment Insurance Wage Earnings Target: Continue to establish baseline data over the next 2 program years Data Source: Closure Data from MRCIS Case Management System, RSA—911 Report, Unemployment Insurance Quarterly Wage Data Frequency: Annually (Page 245) Title IV

Goal 11: Maximize the number of Consumers Exiting the MRC VR Program whose Primary Source of Economic Support is from their own Employment Earnings Measurement: Proportion of Individuals Successfully Closed in Status 26 in the current fiscal year with a RSA—911 Employment Status Code of Competitive Employment in MRCIS with hourly wages at or above minimum wage (the higher of either State or Federal Minimum Wage, currently is $11.00 in Massachusetts) whose Primary Source of Support at Closure is Personal Income (Code 1) minus the proportion of those consumers whose primary source of support at application was personal income (Code 1). Target: At or above 58% Data Source: MRCIS Case Management System, Monthly Standards and Indicators Tracking Report Frequency: Monthly, Annually. (Page 246-247) Title I

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~On a regular basis, the ESE will monitor LEAs’ development and use of policies and procedures, including those regarding Section 504 and the transition requirements of IDEA. All monitoring reports will be made publicly available on the ESE’s web site. The ESE has provided guidance to LEAs, in accordance with 34 CFR 397.31, entitled “Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment” to inform LEAs that WIOA prohibits LEAs from entering into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in 34 CFR 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program under which a youth with a disability is engaged in subminimum wage employment. The ESE assures that it will not enter such a contract or other arrangement. (Page 206) Title I

Administration of the Provision of VR Services:
h. comply with the requirements for the conduct of semiannual or annual reviews, as appropriate, for individuals employed either in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or any other employment under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as required by section 101(a)(14)of the Rehabilitation Act. (Pages 286-287, Page 380) Title IV
 

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

In order to create and implement the One—Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA—mandated career center operator competitive selection process. Additionally, through the One—Stop Career Center standards development process, career center responsive service delivery structure was determined to be a critical element in career center operation. This includes assessing the career center location for accessibility to the communities it serves, whether hours of operation are responsive to all partners’, possessing adaptive technology, and ADA—compliance. The Workforce Development Board Certification (WDB) Workgroup, a sub—committee of the WIOA Jobseeker and Employer Steering Committee, is designing standards for Workforce Board certification pursuant to new WIOA responsibilities. These new Workforce Board standards will be incorporated into enhanced local and regional delivery and project models and related policies. The standards include the examination of board systems to conduct comprehensive annual reviews for programmatic and physical accessibility, including level of engagement of the disability community in conducting these reviews. New standards for certification will also require Workforce Boards to demonstrate how One—Stop Career Centers are incorporating a universal design approach as the basis of standards for accessibility, ensuring a comprehensive process that focuses on both programmatic and physical access to meet the needs of a full array of customers. Every One—Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non—discrimination. (Page 117) Title I

The Massachusetts Department of Career Services adheres to Section 188 of WIA, The Governors Executive Order No. 478, and the Mass Workforce Policy No. 01—35. All One—Stops in the regions have incorporated practices to effectively serve persons with disabilities through required assistive technology and equipment at each center. Accessibility to serve job seekers with a disability is reviewed annually. Standard adaptive equipment for One—Stop Career Center’s include: ZoomText, Jaws, Scanner for Jaws/ZoomText, Dragon Naturally Speaking hands—free voice activated software, Braille Labeler, Assistive listening devices, Text TTY line, height adjustable tables, and Trackball mouse, and other assistive technology. (Page 118) Title I

MRC will continue to consult with core partners on the identified needs of their consumers as it relates to accessibility and access to employment opportunities, employment training, and provide employer trainings on disability awareness and job accommodations. MRC is reaching out to its core partners as part of its next needs assessment to gather additional data on the needs of individuals in the overall workforce system to complement and further enhance the CSNA process going forward. (Page 238) Title I

MRC has completed a project to translate all consumer correspondence letters from the MRCIS web-based case management system into seven commonly used foreign languages in Massachusetts, including Khmer, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese (Mandarin). This will help to enhance services and accessibility to consumers in the Asian community. The letters have been posted to MRC’s intranet for counselors to use and have been directly incorporated into MRCIS. (Page 269, Page 273) Title I

The MCB RC has made the following recommendations for FFY 2019 on VR services o Make budget recommendations and advocate, when appropriate, to ensure that MCB both receives sufficient VR funding and provides appropriate and cost-effective services for consumers; o Through interaction with pertinent MCB staff, as well as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the AIM Library, continue to try to ascertain the number and percentage of blind students currently receiving braille instruction and orientation and mobility instruction, and what criteria are being used to make such decisions; o Ensure that MCB’s social services and vocational rehabilitation staff can fully participate in IEP meetings for children and youth; o Enhance the service delivery of MCB VR counselors to increase job development activities, job placement services, technology services, job retention, and job coaching services to all individuals (including individuals with other disabilities in addition to blindness) receiving vocational services at MCB regional offices; o Work with committee chairs to grow and increase the productivity of RC committees; o Work and advocate for accessibility of state and local government portal systems, including all applications for services and all documents posted on these portals; (Page 289) Title I

Veterans

How the State intends to provide employment, training and job placement services to veterans and eligible persons under the JVSGAll customers who appear for services at the Career Center are asked if they are a Veteran. If the customer identifies as a Veteran they are immediately informed of their Priority of Service status. Career Center staff first offer the Veteran a spot in the next Career Center Seminar (orientation) the main portal into the Massachusetts Workforce Development and Career Center System. This orientation provides all customers including Veterans information on, and access to, the full array of services, programs and activities available at or accessible from the Career Center. As part of the orientation the Veteran will complete a self— assessment of their work search strategies, if appropriate, complete the Career Readiness 101 assessment, complete a job profile and with a career counselor and establish the next appropriate step in their Career Plan. If appropriate due to determination that the Veteran customer has significant barriers to employment the Veteran will be referred to the DVOP. If the Veteran customer prefers not to attend a CCS they are provided with information on the full array of services available and scheduled for the next appropriate service. If they asked to speak with a Veteran representative they will be referred to that Veteran representative. (Page 436) Title IV

A second key partnership exists with the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS). Through this agency, each Commonwealth town and municipality has an assigned Veterans’ Services Officer to provide a wide range of benefits and services to Veterans. Cross training and relationship building at the state and local level have enhanced our ability to quickly address the needs of Veterans. Both the VA and the DVS regularly participate in local, regional and statewide Veterans’ programs, events and training sessions. The Department of Career Services will utilize JVSG incentive funds to support the attendance of both JVSG and non-JVSG staff at the annual National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Veterans Conference.Outreach and linkage to those Veterans most in need of individualized services is an ongoing top priority. Local DVOPs have direct contact and coordination with homeless Veteran shelters (HVRP grantees) to provide direct services and training program opportunities leading to gainful employment and self-sufficiency. Included in these outreach efforts are broad-based marketing and promotion of Veteran-oriented events, job fairs and education/training programs. (Page 438) Title IV

Massachusetts provides training on the implementation of Veterans’ Priority of Service. Training is provided to DVOPs, LVERs, One—Stop Career Center Directors and Operations Managers, Local Workforce Boards, Career Center Staff, Core Partners and other workforce partner personnel to further assure full and effective implementation of Veterans’ priority of service requirements at the local level. The training emphasizes: • Identifying “the point of entry” of federal employment and training programs in order for covered persons to take full advantage of priority of services. • That staff must assure that at the initial contact point (point of entry) covered persons are made aware of: o their entitlement to priority of service; o the full array of employment, training, and placement services; and o any applicable eligibility requirements for those programs or services. • That local policies and procedures must ensure: o monitoring and evaluation of priority of service will be incorporated within monitoring policies and procedures; and o all reporting requirements will be met. (Page 440) Title IV

7. Develop career pathway maps or service flowcharts for veterans who are “shared customers” between local One—Stop Career Centers and the Department of Veterans’ Services and other key partners. Local MOU partners can customize the template developed by the WIOA Steering Committee (ATTACHMENT C—7). The local area partners will identify the roles for each Partner in supporting career pathway development specifically for Veterans.In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local partners could consider the following areas for shared resources to:a) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers who are Veterans at One—Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP)/Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER), Department of Veterans resources, use of TORQ for career counseling, Career Ready 101, NCRC testing, employer industry panels job seekers, resources for Veteran’s with disabilities (e.g. access to support and adaptive technologies) etc. (Could be offered at various sites.)b) Creation of a referral processes for directing Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) to local DVOPs and other appropriate services. (Page 517) Title IV

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~7. Response to Recommendation on Peer Mentors:  The VR program offers peer mentoring programs through collaboration with the Independent Living Centers (ILCs). MRC will continue to ensure consumers are appropriately referred to the ILC’s for Peer mentoring services including mentoring around employment. Peer mentoring from the ILCs is a key part of two current grant projects, including the Transition Pathway Service grant and the Kessler Foundation Career Pathway Services grant. MRC will evaluate the results of these initiatives 
MRC does not have the resources to develop this type of training program, but MRC can have discussions with the ILCs to determine if this type of mentoring happens, and if not, how we can ensure a structure is put in place. With future collaborative projects in the works with the Department of Mental Health, MRC will incorporate the Peer Specialist Model within our VR offices, thus adding a very different mentoring feature to Vocational Rehabilitation. (Page 198) Title I

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission continues to promote the collaboration with stakeholders regarding supported employment services and extended services. This is also evidenced in the number of joint funded programs that have been established. Some examples of these collaborative programs are joint funding of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities between the MRC and the Developmental Disability Services (DDS); for individuals with mental health needs between MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH); for individuals who have traumatic brain injuries between the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. MRC has Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with DDS and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). These MOUs are designed to improve collaboration, coordination and utilization of joint agency resources in ensuring quality service delivery and long term supports that result in competitive/supported employment outcomes for mutual consumers. This collaboration is at the Regional and local levels. Through developing a process for conducting joint-service planning, local liaisons/training and joint service planning, all consumers and specifically transition aged individuals be better served and able to achieve successful employment outcomes. (Page 209-210) Title I

MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) are working collaborative to coordinate and improve services to shared consumers to assist them in their efforts to obtain employment and living independently in the community. MRC and DMH have developed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide efforts to work collaboratively to identify the individuals that they mutually serve through implementing an ongoing data collection system, to foster joint service planning and interagency training to increase employment opportunities and positive employment outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness. The MOU will be revised as needed. (Page 217) Title I

MRC and DMH are also collaborating on a pilot project for shared consumers in 3 areas designed to develop and/or enhance service delivery strategies and services through a collaborative team model approach to improve the time it takes a consumer to move from program eligibility to receiving services; rapidly moving consumers into successful employment opportunities based on their abilities, skills, and interests. Competitive employment for participants is the objective in which consumers are matched to opportunities in demand in the local job market. The teams will track both qualitative and quantitative results through this document to measure the effectiveness and the development of this model over time. In addition, MRC and DMH are developing an employment initiative with state funding to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. MRC will develop a new employment model based on the Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using this new model. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process. (Page 219) Title I

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission continues to promote the collaboration with stakeholders regarding supported employment services and extended services. This is also evidenced in the number of joint funded programs that have developed. Some examples of these collaborative programs are joint funding of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities between the MRC and the Developmental Disability Services (DDS); for individuals who are psychiatrically disabled between MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH); for individuals who have traumatic brain injuries between the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. (Page 254) Title IV

In addition, MRC and DMH are developing an employment initiative with state funding to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. MRC will develop a new employment model based on the Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using this new model. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process and will involve CRPs. (Page 258) Title IV

3. DMH Pilot Project and Employment Initiative: MRC and the Department of Mental Health are collaborating on a pilot project for shared consumers in 3 areas designed to develop and/or enhance service delivery strategies and services through a collaborative team model approach to improve the time it takes a consumer to move from program eligibility to receiving services; rapidly moving consumers into successful employment opportunities based on their abilities, skills, and interests. Competitive employment for participants is the objective in which consumers are matched to opportunities in demand in the local job market. The teams will track both qualitative and quantitative results through this document to measure the effectiveness and the development of this model over time.
In addition, as part of this effort, MRC and DMH are developing a new employment initiative to be supplemented with additional state funds from DMH to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. This project will use a new employment model based on the Vermont Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using a rapid engagement process. (Pages 277-278) Title I
 

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 73

Veterans' employment representatives - 03/24/2020

“Job search help for veterans

Veterans' employment representatives (VERs) are state employees located in the state's MassHire Career Centers. Their job is to:

Help you organize your job searchWork with you to design your own personal employment plan, a comprehensive and flexible way to help you manage your job searchAssist you with writing your resumeHelp you to develop your job leads”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Vocational Services Utilization Guide Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) - 03/07/2020

“Vocational Rehabilitation Supportive Independent Living Services (VR/IL)

This document is a guide for both the Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and the staff of Community Rehabilitation Providers to determine which CIES service component to choose.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Work Without Limits-Events - 02/13/2020

“Work Without Limits regularly offers educational and networking events for employers, service providers, and individuals with disabilities. Our events include, but are not limited to, career fairs, our annual Raise the Bar HIRE! conference, as well as our annual Disability Mentoring Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement

$10M in Workforce Grants Awarded to Fund Training for More Than 6,500 Workers, Create 1,361 New Jobs - 02/13/2020

“[On February 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) grants that will train more than 6,500 workers and add an expected 1,361 new jobs by 2021.

The 96 grants awarded involve 133 companies from across the Commonwealth. These grants will fund customized training that promotes job growth, retention and increased opportunity for workers. Upskilling the local workforce helps Massachusetts businesses and entrepreneurs grow their businesses, become more productive and fuel a strong and resilient Bay State economy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Resource Leveraging

Veterans CARE Project - 02/11/2020

“Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) is a VA, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and City of Boston initiative to help Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find and keep good jobs. Hear from the Veterans CARE team and participating Veterans.

Veterans CARE is an initiative of the VA to support unemployed or underemployed Veterans with PTSD in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The program provides Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based approach to supported employment that emphasizes rapid job search that matches an individual’s needs and preferences, alongside integrated mental health care. IPS Employment Specialists work closely with participants’ mental health care providers to ensure that employment opportunities match their needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans

Work Without Limits Resources - 02/02/2020

“We offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Department of Developmental Services - 01/30/2020

“The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community….

The Department’s mission is to create, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully in their communities and meaningfully engage as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Secondary Transition: Transition Topics - 11/20/2019

This page is a collection of state and federal resources for students and families to help with the transition process after high school. 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

DMH Young Adult Resource Guide Transition Age Youth Services - 10/24/2019

This page has information and links for “Transition Age Youth Services in Massachusetts”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2020 - 07/02/2019

~~“Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant Fund Codes: 240Purpose: Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Massachusetts law about veterans - 06/12/2019

~~“A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on veterans' legal issues, by the Trial Court Law Libraries.”

Systems
  • Other

FY2019 Final Budget Chapter 154 AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2019 - 06/01/2019

~~“For community-based day and work programs and associated transportation costs for adults; provided, that the department shall provide transportation prioritized by need; provided further, that the department shall support individuals with disabilities who transitioned from employment services offered at sheltered workshops to community-based employment as part of the commonwealth’s employment first initiative; provided further, that any public-private partnerships with employers and non-profits shall encourage the highest level of independence among individuals with disabilities and provide options to maximize community involvement and participation; provided further, that not later than December 14, 2018, the department shall issue a report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities detailing: (a) eligible individuals who transitioned to community-based employment in fiscal year 2018 and those projected for fiscal year 2019; and (b) the number and types of transitions funded by the pilot program since its inception, delineated by fiscal year; provided further, that not less than $75,000 shall be expended to the town of Natick to support Camp Arrowhead to provide recreational programs for individuals with disabilities; and provided further, that not less than $25,000 shall be expended on the Opportunity Works for the Project SEARCH program.............................................. $210,704,791”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 30

Veterans' employment representatives - 03/24/2020

“Job search help for veterans

Veterans' employment representatives (VERs) are state employees located in the state's MassHire Career Centers. Their job is to:

Help you organize your job searchWork with you to design your own personal employment plan, a comprehensive and flexible way to help you manage your job searchAssist you with writing your resumeHelp you to develop your job leads”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Vocational Services Utilization Guide Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) - 03/07/2020

“Vocational Rehabilitation Supportive Independent Living Services (VR/IL)

This document is a guide for both the Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and the staff of Community Rehabilitation Providers to determine which CIES service component to choose.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Veterans CARE Project - 02/11/2020

“Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) is a VA, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and City of Boston initiative to help Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find and keep good jobs. Hear from the Veterans CARE team and participating Veterans.

Veterans CARE is an initiative of the VA to support unemployed or underemployed Veterans with PTSD in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The program provides Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based approach to supported employment that emphasizes rapid job search that matches an individual’s needs and preferences, alongside integrated mental health care. IPS Employment Specialists work closely with participants’ mental health care providers to ensure that employment opportunities match their needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans

Department of Developmental Services - 01/30/2020

“The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community….

The Department’s mission is to create, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully in their communities and meaningfully engage as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Secondary Transition: Transition Topics - 11/20/2019

This page is a collection of state and federal resources for students and families to help with the transition process after high school. 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

DMH Young Adult Resource Guide Transition Age Youth Services - 10/24/2019

This page has information and links for “Transition Age Youth Services in Massachusetts”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

IDEA Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools - 06/13/2019

~~This page is a list of resources, sample documents and other materials to help parents of students with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Veterans' Job Programs and Services - 06/12/2019

~~“The MassHire Department of Career Services provides employment and training services to veterans and their families. Dedicated staff is available throughout the state to help veterans transition to civilian employment. Veterans and their eligible spouses receive Priority of Service throughout the full array of services provided through the Career Center system.”

Systems
  • Other

Veterans Laws and Benefits - 04/29/2019

~~“The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is pleased to present this publication of Veterans’ Laws and Benefits, a compilation of resources regarding major state benefits in the areas of education, employment, housing, motor vehicles, property taxes, and medical assistance. Information regarding recent amendments to federal and state legislation on employment rights and federal burial benefits is also offered”

Systems
  • Other

Transition to Employment Get the Facts - 04/29/2019

~~“You can achieve competitive integrated employment even if you need job supports on an ongoing basis.The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) defines competitive integrated employment as•  Work that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis (including self-employment) that pays above minimum wage and not less than the customary rate paid by the employer for the same or similar work to individuals who have similar training, experience, and skills;•  With eligibility for the level of benefits provided to other employees in similar positions;•  At a location where employee interacts with other people who are not individuals with disabilities to the same extent as other employees without disabilities in comparable positions;•  As appropriate, presents opportunities for advancement that are similar to those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

$10M in Workforce Grants Awarded to Fund Training for More Than 6,500 Workers, Create 1,361 New Jobs - 02/13/2020

“[On February 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) grants that will train more than 6,500 workers and add an expected 1,361 new jobs by 2021.

The 96 grants awarded involve 133 companies from across the Commonwealth. These grants will fund customized training that promotes job growth, retention and increased opportunity for workers. Upskilling the local workforce helps Massachusetts businesses and entrepreneurs grow their businesses, become more productive and fuel a strong and resilient Bay State economy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits Resources - 02/02/2020

“We offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

How schools and MRC work together - 10/20/2018

~~“If you are a student with a disability, your high school staff can connect you with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and a pre-employment transition services provider (pre-ETS) to help you explore and prepare for a job or further education. MRC can help you explore interests and connect to opportunities both during and after High School.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Blueprint for Success: Partnerships - 11/01/2013

"In July 2013, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe appointed a group of disability providers, advocates and DDS leaders to examine day and employment support programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Employment Workgroup ‟s goal has been to develop a five-year plan to increase both inclusive employment opportunities and higher earning potential for individuals with ID, while phasing out the use of sheltered workshops.  The Workgroup has achieved consensus on the following plan, which is reflected in proposed changes, goals, recommendations, and timelines to achieve the desired outcomes.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment - 01/26/2019

~~“The Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment (MPTE) is a systems-change project of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. The project is designed to improve employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities transitioning from school to adult life.

MPTE is funded through September 2021 by a 5-year federal grant from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Disability Employment Initiative - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Massachusetts was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

  In 2014 Massachusetts was awarded a Round 5 grant.  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits – About Us - 07/01/2009

~~“Work Without Limits is an initiative out of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).  Our goal is to position Massachusetts as the first state in the nation where the employment rate of people with disabilities is equal to people without disabilities.Work Without Limits is a network of employers, educational institutions, employment service providers, and state and federal agencies.Through collaboration and partnership, our goal is to increase the employment of people with disabilities until it is equal to those without disabilities.Work Without Limits programs and services are geared to meet the needs of businesses that actively recruit people with disabilities, individuals with disabilities who are seeking jobs, and the employment providers that serve them.We provide training and consulting services to help build the capacity of employers, employment service providers, state agency personnel, and educational institutions in advancing workplace disability inclusion.” 

·      ·     

·     

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Work Incentives Grant (Southern Essex)

“The North Shore Employment Consortium (NoSEC), led by the Southern Essex Workforce Investment Board, will address the need for full accessibility to employment and training services for all citizens. NoSEC partners are targeting this project for people with disabilities in the nineteen cities and towns of Southern Essex County, Massachusetts. NoSEC partners will institute a cultural paradigm shift towards improved physical and programmatic accessibility. This project will include a training/marketing program for employment service providers, employers, and disabled persons, and the community at large. The project will also focus on transportation needs of disabled persons seeking employment and on the creation of relevant internships for people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Work Without Limits-Events - 02/13/2020

“Work Without Limits regularly offers educational and networking events for employers, service providers, and individuals with disabilities. Our events include, but are not limited to, career fairs, our annual Raise the Bar HIRE! conference, as well as our annual Disability Mentoring Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2020 - 07/02/2019

~~“Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant Fund Codes: 240Purpose: Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Work Without Limits - 05/08/2019

~~“ResourcesWe offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more. Check back regularly as this list is updated frequently.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary (Word document) - 01/01/2019

~~“ESE seeks to ensure that all Massachusetts students are prepared for success after high school. To attain this goal, we have been working to provide individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experiences in the academic, workplace readiness, and personal/social domains to successfully navigate to completion an economically viable career pathway in a 21st century economy. The College, Career, and Technical Education unit, working in collaboration with a variety of interagency and state level partners, provides professional development, technical assistance, and grant funding to promote strategies that help all students become college and career ready. “

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

IPS Supported Employment for Youth: Learn About IPS - 11/09/2018

~~“Agency leaders, including the agency executive director, must understand the basic principles of this approach so they can organize agency services to support the evidence-based practice. For example, leaders should know that IPS specialists help people search for regular (competitive) jobs as soon as youth express interest, and that any person who wants to pursue a career is eligible for IPS services. Administrators who know about the practice avoid developing work readiness programs because they understand that using a stepwise approach to employment is counter to IPS practice principles. Agency leaders can learn about IPS by attending IPS training with their staff. Doing so communicates to practitioners that helping people with careers is important. Another way to learn about IPS is to read this manual or a book titled Individual Placement and Support: An Evidence-based Approach to Supported Employment by Drake, Bond, and Becker, published by Oxford Press. Additional information about IPS supported employment is at www.ipsworks.org  “.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Department of Education – Transition Specialist Training Requirements - 09/22/2015

Staff who provide employment services must have subject matter knowledge of:

“Foundations and implementation of transition education and transition services;” “Individual transition assessment and system evaluation, including conducting, interpreting, and overseeing individualized formal and informal transition assessments;” “How to develop transition systems and supports which include best practices in postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, and community participation;” “Collaboration including strategies for active participation of students and families in IEP development, transition education and services, and support networks; development of partnerships with employers.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Employment First Technical Assistance - 11/01/2014

~~“On November 1, 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in conjunction with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The ARC of Massachusetts, released the [Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts]…. The blueprint outlines a plan to implement [Employment First … in Massachusetts. To assist providers with the transformation from center based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, has established the Employment First Technical Assistance Center. Through this center, the ICI provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the blueprint. Over the past year, more than 18 agencies that recently offered center-based employment supports have received technical assistance to develop expanded capacity to provide integrated employment supports, as well as community-based day services. Technical assistance is provided by ICI staff as well as a cadre of qualified consultants. A limited amount of technical assistance may be available for additional providers. “

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Employment Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days"

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Massachusetts Medicaid buy-in: Feasibility of establishing a small employer premium sharing plan for participation in MassHealth - 10/27/2018

~~“Pursuant to Chapter 47 of the Acts of 2017, this study examines the opportunities and challenges associated with allowing small employers to share premiums with or “buy into” MassHealth, the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program. Premium sharing would split the cost of covering employees who are eligible for the MassHealth program between MassHealth and the employer, while a buy in program would allow employees to enroll in a Medicaid benefit at any income but without subsidies and without federal “match” funding. Such a program could take many forms and achieve many different goals. This study outlines several approaches to premium sharing and buy-in programs and offers potential considerations for the General Court should it choose to approach this issue in the future.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration - 02/21/2018

“The MassHealth demonstration is a statewide multi-faceted health reform effort. The demonstration was initially implemented in July 1997, and has developed over time through amendments and renewals reflecting new priorities and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The demonstration authorizes Medicaid income eligibility for certain categorically eligible populations including pregnant women, parents or adult caretakers, infants, children and individuals with disabilities, and provides premium subsidies to qualifying individuals who are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) consistent with levels provided under the demonstration prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

The fifth renewal was approved October 30, 2014. It expires June 30, 2019.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Massachusetts HCBS Transition Plan - 12/01/2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule related to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Medicaid-funded long term services and supports provided in residential and non-residential home and community-based settings. The final rule took effect March 17, 2014. States are required to submit transition plans to CMS within one year of the effective date indicating how they intend to comply with the new requirements within a reasonable time period. If states amend or renew any of their currently operating waivers or state plan amendments prior to the effective date, that action serves as a trigger for the state to submit a transition plan for all its waivers under 1915(c), as well as any state plan amendments under 1915(i) or 1915(k) within 120 days of the amendment/renewal submission. The following is Massachusetts’ statewide transition plan pursuant to this requirement. The main focus of this Transition Plan is on residential supports offered through HCBS waivers.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living Waiver (1915c) - 07/01/2013

This waiver, "provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID"

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Adult Supports Waiver (0828.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Intensive Supports Waiver (0827.R01.00) [1915c] - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, day hab supplement, 24-hr self directed home sharing support, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transitional assistance services, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living (0826.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Residential Supports Waiver (1028.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides prevocational services, residential habilitation, supported employment, addiction services, assisted living, community crisis stabilization, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, residential family training, shared living 24-hr supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, transportation for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Community Living Waiver (1027.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides home health aide, homemaker, personal care, prevocational services, respite, supported employment, addiction services, adult companion, chore, community crisis stabilization, community family training, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, independent living supports, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, shared home supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, supportive home care aide, transportation, vehicle mods for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusetts VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
-0.14%
Change from
2018 to 2019
6,892,503
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
374,288
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
155,507
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
8.06%
Change from
2018 to 2019
41.55%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
2.03%
Change from
2018 to 2019
81.76%

State Data

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 6,859,819 6,902,149 6,892,503
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 396,597 384,133 374,288
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 149,633 146,757 155,507
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,167,434 3,186,731 3,238,241
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 37.73% 38.20% 41.55%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 80.18% 80.10% 81.76%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.70% 3.30% 2.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.20% 20.10% 19.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10% 8.60% 8.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 381,353 367,406 370,156
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 422,624 423,726 414,937
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 648,560 640,565 629,947
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 68,969 65,720 68,145
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 99,390 103,017 103,632
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,710 2,620 5,445
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 30,265 25,483 24,240
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A 215
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 22,212 21,062 24,884
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 31,261 35,279 32,217

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,789 9,873 9,967
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.90% 6.10% 6.20%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 199,966 194,364 188,851

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,433 1,579 1,546
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 6,222 7,113 6,988
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 17,188 12,027 11,772
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 14.20% 13.10% 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.70% 6.30% N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.30% N/A 7.70%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,620 1,186 N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,362 1,454 1,456
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,126 10,735 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2013 2014 2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 75 53 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 51 36 48
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 68.00% 68.00% 75.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.76 0.53 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.00% 31.00% 33.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 14,410 11,511 11,152
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,295 317,606 310,618
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 11 27 31
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 88 135 135

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $53,287,000 $53,052,182 $53,636,282
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $3,949,000 N/A N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $171,505,000 $171,110,168 $170,451,668
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $80,835,000 $92,170,983 $99,766,711
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 42.00% 40.00% 40.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 6,299 6,482 6,798
Number of people served in facility based work. 719 N/A N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 9,021 9,195 9,376
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 98.80 99.84 102.77

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.34% 62.82% 63.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.05% 13.82% 13.40%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.81% 6.93% 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00% 99.80% 97.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 53.83% 49.64% 50.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 81.31% 83.13% 79.37%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 93.74% 94.43% 87.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 27.48% 33.49% 29.37%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2018 2019 2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 16 17 5
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 1 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 16 18 5
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 1,337 925 250
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 8 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 1,337 933 250

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First

~~MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets quarterly; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams, the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE), the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Association (MRA), and other provider trade groups across the Commonwealth. In addition, MRC District Contract Supervisors also conduct quarterly on-site review meetings to assess performance and provide feedback to assist CRPs providing services for MRC. (Page 258) Title IV

9. Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. MRC staff are also reviewing and researching the Vermont Progressive Employment model as part of MRC’s efforts to develop a new innovative initiative with the Department of Mental Health using state funding as described above. (Pages 278-279) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~The lower numbers overall of OSCC customers who also work with partner agencies such as TANF/ SNAP and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission signal an opportunity for the Massachusetts Workforce System to reverse this trend. Beyond the One-Stop Career Centers, our system continues to be engaged in various programs and partnerships that incorporate additional workforce activities and supportive services. Leveraging programs that multiple agencies and workforce partners share in utilizing is key in to this effort under WIOA. (Page 34) Title I

The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements). (Page 50) Title I

Utilize federal and state resources to support job-driven, integrated education and training adult basic education participants including leveraging workforce resources to create these models (e.g. the use of ITAs for Title II participants). (Page 56) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

KEY GOALS, OUTCOMES and WIOA STRATEGIES CHART The federal portal doesnot provide the ability to include this chart/graphic in the State Plan submission. Please review the missing information by viewing the copy of Massachusetts State Plan posted on www.mass.gov/massworkforce/state-plan/ Key Goals Align Economic, Education and Workforce Systems to Labor Market OSCC Priority of Services for Individuals with Barriers to Employment (Disabilities, Low-Skilled, Low-Income, TANF/SNAP, Veterans, etc.) Redesign and Coordinate Business Services (Demand-Driven 2.0) Expected Outcomes Resources and career pathways organized to economic need • Create deeper service pathways at OSCCs • Increase credentialing and job placement rates Increase outcomes for businesses Strategy (WIOA Lever / Tool for Change) Regional Planning (Workforce Skills Cabinet Initiative leveraging WIOA requirement for Regional Planning) Reductions in OSCC Customer Volume (improving economy) (Pages 71-72) Title I

Education Partnerships, Leveraging Resources for Education, and Access to Post—Secondary Credentials The vision for the WIOA Plan to organize and promote the progression of individuals along career pathways depends upon a larger number of individuals moving into post—secondary attainment of credentials in order to meet the job demand in the Massachusetts economy. While higher education is not a required Core Partner program in WIOA, our higher education system, represented by the Department
pg. 86of Higher Education, is a key partner on the WIOA Steering Committee and in the implementation of the WIOA Plan. State leaders will focus on new strategies that assist more individuals, especially individuals with limited education and skill, in accessing higher education. That includes building on the state’s past success with the USDOL TAACCT initiatives. (Pages 85-86) Title I

As discussed in Section II goals and strategies, the Commonwealth developed its Economic Development Plan with significant input from the education and workforce systems. The Economic Development Plan is being utilized in the development of the WIOA State Plan. In addition, the Governor is leveraging the required WIOA regional planning process to create a new, integrated regional planning process (to be named) across the economic, education, and workforce Secretariats. The new regional planning structure will be based on an aligned regional map between workforce areas, economic development, and education regions. The new process will require seven coordinated teams led by Workforce Development Boards, Community Colleges and Vocational Technical Schools, and economic development (Massachusetts Office of Business Development) with additional partners (business leaders, community—based—organizations, etc.) to ensure that education and training systems are focused on the career pathways needed in the regional economy. The regional leadership from economic development will therefore drive the activities of the Workforce Development Boards and key WIOA partners through the resulting regional plans. (Pages 87-88) Title I

As WIOA is placing an emphasis on workforce development and preparing individuals for employment in a demand —driven system, occupational skills training and work experience program models will be encouraged. More robust career planning and training for occupations linked to industry needs are necessary. The procurement policy will place an emphasis on serving out—of—school youth ages 16—24, particularly out—of—school youth who are 22—24 year—olds and who are disconnected from service and resources. Local areas will be required to design pathways for youth, which are reflective of youth service needs as well as labor market and business needs. Co—enrollment between core partner programs will be encouraged to the extent possible in the local areas. Local areas will be encouraged to outreach to the core program partners for recruitment of WIOA eligible youth. A referral process between the core programs will be established to identify the roles and responsibilities of the respective program staff. Leveraging core program resources will lead to improved outcomes as well as a system that streamlining services for youth. (Page 138) Title I

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014-2015). The value of the Massachusetts DEI model is that it links access to education, credential training and job training with benefits counseling with utilization of the federal Ticket to Work Program. Prior grants and resources for this population were solely focused on employment and did not expand work to enroll more individuals into post-secondary or training programs. (Page 77) Title I

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One—Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One—Stop Employment System (MOSES) —— a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: • Title I Adult • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs) • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response) • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI) • Title I Youth • Migrant Seasonal Farm Worker (MSFW) • Unemployment Insurance employment assistance services and programs including Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) (Page 90) Title I

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One—Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter—communication regarding clients. (Pages 531-532) Title IV

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Goal IV: Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of vocational rehabilitation services delivery, as measured by the Rehabilitation Council’s annual evaluation of the agency‘s progress toward the goal.
Priorities… -Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills . (Page 359) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission -Vocational Rehabilitation for the Disabled provides services to adults, students, and youth over the age of 16 with disabilities so they can gain and maintain employment. This program is administered by the state, but is bound by federal rules tied to the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Funding primarily comes from federal sources with this line item accounting for state matching and maintenance of effort funds. The main goal of this program is to assist people with disabilities choose, obtain, and maintain competitive employment. Services offered include:
•Job-driven competitive employment and training services, including direct job placement service, partnerships with employers, on-the-job trainings (OJT), work-based learning experiences, paid internships, with a focus on high-growth industries and employment opportunities.
•Pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities.
• Vocational counseling, guidance, and career development. (Page 37) Title I

DSU's plans The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 201-202) Title I
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has established interagency cooperation between public education and public vocational rehabilitation agency regarding vocational rehabilitation services pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) to provide individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post-school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living and community participation. 
MRC continues to work to increase collaboration with educational officials, and has worked with DESE to outline interagency cooperation in a formal agreement entitled “Administrative Advisory on Pre-Employment Transition Services and Transition Services”. (Page 202) Title I

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) have developed this advisory to Local Educational Authorities (LEAs) as described below and in other sections of this document to:  1. define and describe Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) offered through MRC for students with disabilities, including which students may be appropriate for these services; 2. Establish collaborative practices between MRC vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors and Local Educational Agency (LEA) personnel for the provision of Pre-ETS. MRC provides two types of services for students with disabilities, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), and transition services through an Individualized Plan for Employment  o All students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) may receive Pre-ETS, including but not limited to those receiving services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan, and are either eligible for MRC VR services or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. Pre-ETS are provided as generalized services to groups of students, or as individualized services. (Page 202) Title I

MRC provides the five Pre-ETS services required under WIOA:
• Job exploration counseling. 
• Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school, after-school, or community-based opportunities such as internships. Work-based learning experiences must be provided in an integrated setting in the community to the maximum extent possible. 
• Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs.
• Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living. 
• Instruction in self-advocacy, including peer mentoring.  MRC will make Pre-ETS available to all students with disabilities statewide who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC services. MRC will make every effort to provide or coordinate Pre-ETS services to ensure statewide availability. (Page 202-203) Title I

Students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) who are determined eligible for MRC Vocational Rehabilitation services can receive additional transition services that are not considered Pre-ETS (beyond the scope of the five Pre-ETS services) through an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) while they are still in high school and receiving special education services, and also afterwards when seeking employment, in employment, or in postsecondary education or training. Transition services delivered through an IPE might consist of vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and/or benefits counseling. 
o The IPE must be developed within 90 days or with an extension that is documented in the MRCIS case management system and approved by the MRC counselor and the student or Parent/Guardian. The IPE goal and appropriate services should be coordinated with a student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan and include the provision of Pre-ETS. High school attendance and completion should be listed as a service on the IPE. The IPE should be completed prior to high school exit for a student determined eligible for MRC services and not under an order of selection wait list. (Page 203) Title IV

LEAs will collaborate with VR counselors to identify students with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to reach out to identified students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.
•LEAs will inform the student, parent/guardian, and other IEP Team members of the availability of Pre-ETS provided by MRC, and connect the student and family with the VR counselor.
•LEAs will invite VR counselors to participate in IEP and 504 planning meetings, as appropriate, and with the prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority. When invited to participate in these planning meetings, MRC counselors will make every effort to participate.
•LEAs will share information e.g., student and family contact and information, student assessment data, Transition Planning Forms, IEPs, and 504 plans, with MRC counselor, with the prior consent of the family or student who has reached the age of majority, and as consistent with applicable student records laws. (Pages 202-203) Title IV

DESE and MRC staff will collaborate on transition training activities for students, families, educators, rehabilitation counselors, and other involved staff, where needed and appropriate. ESE and MRC staff at the state level will collaborate, as needed and appropriate, to produce joint guidance on WIOA, and local collaboration.
pg. 205MRC and DESE have encouraged LEAs through the administrative advisory to provide MRC staff with resources necessary for MRC’s work, such as access to meeting space, work space, and Internet connection as needed. (Pages 204-205) Title IV

LEAs are asked to collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities, including but not limited to those with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided. (Page 205) Title IV

LEAs and MRC are expected to collaborate to plan Pre-ETS for students with IEPs that are coordinated with each student’s individualized secondary transition services provided by the LEA. IEP Teams are asked document any agreed-upon VR services in the Action Plan of the Transition Planning Form, and may also document VR services in the Additional Information section of the IEP. LEAs and MRCs will collaborate to coordinate and deliver training activities and opportunities for students and families, where needed and appropriate. IEP documentation practices may vary among LEAs. Any conversation regarding MRC Pre-ETS at the IEP meeting needs to be individualized to meet the student’s needs. (Page 205) Title IV

The MRC will provide consultation and technical assistance to LEAs, which may be provided using alternative means for meeting participation (such as video conference and conference calls), to assist LEAs in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities and to coordinate Pre-ETS and other transition services. Pre-ETS can be provided to students who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. If a student is determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, this consultation and technical assistance should result in the MRC’s development of an Individualized Plan for Employment ("IPE") before the student leaves the school setting. (Page 205) Title IV

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) are mutually committed to promoting individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post—school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living, and community participation. 
pg. 207MRC will contribute at least 15% of its financial resources towards providing pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) to students to students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday). The high schools will provide in-kind contributions of staff time, space, and transition services/resources. MRC will continue to work closely with ESE to ensure adequate financial resources are available in the schools for high school students. (Pages 206-207) Title IV

MRC has assigned qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors to every public high school in the Commonwealth to coordinate the delivery of pre-employment transition services for potentially eligible or eligible students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) and transition services for students determined eligible for VR services delivered through an Individualized Plan for Employment. The LEAs assign qualified education staff to coordinate communication with MRC and to provide transition services under IDEA and 504. Applicable administrative staff are also involved in this process. (Page 207) Title IV

The MRC Area Offices will provide outreach to high schools to assist in informing all students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) of the availability of
pg. 208MRC Pre-ETS and Vocational Rehabilitation services. Outreach to these students occurs as early as possible in the transition process. MRC outreach information includes a description of the purpose of the vocational rehabilitation program, applicable eligibility requirements, referral and application procedures, and the scope of services that may be provided to eligible and potentially eligible individuals.  LEAs also collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR and Pre-ETS programs, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.  (Pages 207-208) Title IV

MRC operates a summer internship program for high school students with disabilities in partnership with employers across the Commonwealth as part of its Pre-ETS programming. This program provides paid work-based learning experiences and workplace readiness training, and provides valuable work experience and mentorship opportunities for participants. Employers are also involved as part of identifying work-based learning experiences for Pre-ETS and also as part of MRC’s Transition Pathway Services demonstration grant. MRC also is working closely with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts as part of this demonstration grant to evaluate progress and to develop and promote best practices for Pre-ETS and Work-Based learning. MRC will use lessons from this grant to incorporate best practices for coordinating pre-Employment Transition services and transition services to students and youths with disabilities.
MRC also provides OJT training specifically for youth and high school students with disabilities in vocational technical schools with CVS Health and Manpower that offer both short and long term work based learning experiences to develop both skills and job readiness. (Pages 212-213) Title IV

MRC is working closely with local school districts on transition and pre-employment transition services, including those provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). MRC has a counselor assigned to every public high school in the Commonwealth and has developed strong working relationships with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). MRC is also working to coordinate its transition services with local schools and DESE with those transition services by these provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 239) Title IV

MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 241) Title IV

Some strategies developed through this process, as described in the sections below, include development and refinement of MRC’s pre-employment transition service (Pre-ETS) contract programs, the development of a new employment model with the Department of Mental Health to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process, a pilot project with the Department of Transitional Assistance to use the concepts of the Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) model to engage and employ individuals with disabilities receiving TANF benefits, among other strategies MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Additional details on these and other strategies can be found in the following sections. (Pages 254-255) Title IV

Through its MOU with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), MRC has established a working group to identify needs and best practices to improve and expand services for students with disabilities, including pre-employment transition services. MRC is amending its MOU with DESE to further coordinate service efforts and DESE has produced guidance for local school districts on working with MRC to coordinate transition services. This is incorporated as part of MRC’s strategic planning process MRC has also hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition, coordination with educational authorities, and implementation of strategies to improve and expand services to students with disabilities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Page 258) Title IV

Transition Pathway Services Demonstration Grant Project: MRC has been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) known as the Transition Pathway Services Grant. This project will evaluate best practices for provision of work-based learning experiences to students with disabilities through a coordinated model of services provided by community partners including MRC, career centers, independent living centers, pre-employment transition vendors and local educational authorities to increase employment and/or post-secondary education opportunity for students with disabilities based on their abilities, skills, needs and employment opportunities in the local economy. (Pages 262-263) Title IV

The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 295) Title IV

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind‘s plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities include:• The development and implementation of a new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has a long-standing cooperative agreement relative to the services provided to legally blind children that was out-of-date. During the past year, the two agencies met a number of times to develop an updated agreement and to address problem areas and new initiatives. Specific provisions of the agreement are described in Section C. below. • The continued provision of consultation and technical assistance to the education agency relative to the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including pre-employment transition services and vocational rehabilitation services. • The continued transition planning by MCB and education personnel that facilitates the development and completion of students ‘individual education programs through the Chapter 688 process described in Section B. (Page 295) Title IV

Priorities: -Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition) consumers who are not going to college. -Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of school youth with the result that the number of students and youth participating increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.-Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Page 349) Title IV

Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through: implementation of the new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE); working more closely with schools and teachers of the visually-impaired; working more closely with the Massachusetts Federation for Children with Special Needs (the state Parent Training and Information Center) to provide better outreach and information to parents about pre-employment transition services, vocational rehabilitation services, and the opportunities for coordination and cooperation between MCB and school personnel; providing group pre-employment transition services both after-school and during school vacations. (Page 355) Title IV

The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services).Relevant strategies and methods:
•Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition consumers who are not going to college.
•Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of-school youth with the result that the number of students and youth who participate increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.
•Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).•Increase pre-employment transition, transition, and college students’ access to educational materials, resources and websites.
•Improve communication and collaboration among MCB staff (VR counselors, children’s service workers and social workers) in order to facilitate services to pre-employment transition consumers who have reached their fourteenth birthday and to identify on a case by case basis the most appropriate departments within MCB to meet these individuals’ needs.
•Improve communication and collaboration between MCB VR counselors and all other state, federal, contracted and private agencies providing technology, vocational training and employment services to MCB consumers, including eligible and potentially eligible pre-employment transition consumers.
•Provide appropriate after-school assistive technology and orientation and mobility services as pre-employment transition services to eligible and potentially eligible middle and high school students. •Provide appropriate job exploration and counseling pre-employment transition services such as mentorships and exposure to real life career information.
•Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills. (Pages 358-359) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements) (Page 50) Title I

Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth’s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. WIOA partners will work to:•Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand •Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment (Page 51) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

State Level Memorandum of Understanding Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenants of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. New partnerships and cross-system operations across Career Centers, Adult Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, and TANF/SNAP established through a statewide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) based on the state goals and strategies in the Plan. The State MOU (attachment C-1) was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:• Articulate a coordinated vision for organizing the broadly defined federally-funded public workforce system • Develop career pathways for business and individuals with barriers to employment or “shared” customers across WIOA programs • Define shared WIOA infrastructure costs between WIOA programs and Career Centers • Guide the establishment of 16 local area MOUs and agreements (which will require the design of partnerships and service delivery systems through the WIOA Core Program partners at the local level) (Page 70) Title I

The Open and Competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process will consist of two separate competitive processes. A regional competition will make funding available for Community Adult Learning Centers (CALCs) offering ABE and/or ESOL services, which may also include Adult Career Pathways or bridge programs, Integrated Education and Training, and Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education grant programs, etc. The regional allocations will be determined using a formula that takes into account data from the American Community Survey. Successful applicants will be awarded funding based on the quality of their responses to the 13 considerations in Title II of WIOA. They will also be awarded points based on past performance. The regional competition will be reviewed for alignment with local plans by local boards. (Page 109) Title I

Every One—Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non—discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One—Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local
WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on—site monitoring at all 32 One—Stop locations, using the set of One—Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One—Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Pages 117-118) Title I

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to:1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand 2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
pg. 2603. Assist individuals to achieve economic self—sufficiency through support services, labor—market driven credentialing, and employment4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Pages 259-260) Title I

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. 
o Work with Core Program partners to promote Career Pathways for individuals who are legally blind and to improve the one-stop delivery system. 
o Strengthen the alignment of the MCB VR program with the other core programs of the workforce development system. 
o Use state and regional labor market information analysis to develop more employment options for consumers who are legally blind, utilizing regional labor market data, regional economic development agencies, and business intelligence gathered from interactions with core partners.
o Participate in the development of a coordinated, streamlined regional strategy for business partner outreach and follow up. (Page 291) Title I

Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenets of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. The State MOU was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:
o Focus on Demand—Driven Services
o Priority on Business Customer
o Priority on Individuals with Barriers
o Streamlining Workforce Structures (Workforce Boards, Service Delivery, etc.)
o Increased Expectation to Create Partnerships Across Programs
o Requirement for Regional Planning
o Performance Metrics Across All Partners (including new Business Measures)
o Credentialing and Career Pathways (Page 511) Title IV

Expand existing Career Pathways Models in regions. Workforce Development Boards, One—Stop Career Centers and WIOA partners (TANF, MRC, MCB, Veteran’s etc.) work with ACLS to support the ABE Career Pathways models and offer comprehensive services for “shared customers”. (Page 515) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The Massachusetts Workforce Development Board, EOLWD and the Department of Career Services will encourage Workforce Areas to utilize federal WIOA funding to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including On-the-Job Training, Apprenticeship, Pay-for-Success models, and other tools on the pathway to postsecondary credentials. These pathway initiatives will leverage business feedback about the skills and credentials required to access opportunities and identify innovative entry points for job seekers with varying degrees of preparation. Utilize state resources to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including on-ramps to adult education, community colleges, career and technical education, On the Job Training, Apprenticeship and other tools to expand the capacity of regional partnerships to deliver talent to business. Currently, the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund is the vehicle for state resources. In addition, this is a recommended strategy to assist individuals with barriers to enter the labor market. (Page 56) Title I

On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeship is available to WIOA Adult and Youth customers, as appropriate; and of course these tools are available to Partner programs as funding permits. The Commonwealth supports local sector initiatives through WIOA and other funding sources (e.g. Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund), many of which incorporate work-based learning as part of the service strategy. The MassTalent Connect Initiative will use OJT as a strategy (OJTs funded through the Workforce Training Fund Program) to further build out OJT as a strategy for individuals who are long-term unemployed, and therefore eligible as Adult participants. Massachusetts is in the process of preparing the application for the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant, the goal of which is to increase utilization of Apprenticeship by 5%; MA anticipates an additional 418 Apprentices over the next 18 months. (Page 135) Title I

MRC will utilize available apprenticeship resources, including the ODEP guide to expand apprenticeship, to provide apprenticeship opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth. As an example, MRC participates in the Merit Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, MRC has obtained a copy of the ODEP guide on apprenticeships. MRC will also work with the Career Centers on providing apprenticeship opportunities for consumers. MRC has leased space at the career centers and has staff dedicated to the career centers to make available the range of career services from Career Centers for MRC consumers. (Page 264 )Title IV

MRC will utilize available apprenticeship resources, including the ODEP guide to expand apprenticeship, to provide apprenticeship opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth. As an example, MRC participates in the Merit Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, MRC has obtained a copy of the ODEP guide on apprenticeships. MRC will also work with the Career Centers on providing apprenticeship opportunities for consumers. (Page 279) Title IV

Assist the other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals who are legally blind by: offering to provide all One-Stop Career Centers with an evaluation of their accessibility to visually-impaired consumers; providing on-site VR services to legally blind consumers who have scheduled appointments at One-Stop Career Centers; providing training about blindness and visual impairment to the workforce development agencies; providing consultation to workforce development staff; working with workforce development agencies to develop apprenticeship and on-the-job training opportunities for legally blind consumers; identify job-driven training opportunities for legally blind consumers; and developing an improved referral process among the partner agencies. Since apprenticeships have seldom been available to legally blind consumers, MCB will contact the Massachusetts Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, and the Connecticut Board of Education and Services for the Blind to learn more about apprenticeships for legally blind persons and how to access opportunities through the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) or other resources in Massachusetts and New England. (Page 349) Title IV

Support the other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals who are legally blind by: offering to provide all One-Stop Career Centers with an evaluation of their accessibility to visually-impaired consumers; providing on-site VR services to legally blind consumers who have scheduled appointments at One-Stop Career Centers; providing training about blindness and visual impairment to the of workforce development agencies; providing consultation to workforce development staff; working with workforce development agencies to develop apprenticeship and on-the-job training opportunities for legally blind consumers; identify job-driven training opportunities for legally blind consumers; and developing an improved referral process among the partner agencies. (Pages 354-355) Title IV

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014-2015). The value of the Massachusetts DEI model is that it links access to education, credential training and job training with benefits counseling with utilization of the federal Ticket to Work Program. Prior grants and resources for this population were solely focused on employment and did not expand work to enroll more individuals into post-secondary or training programs. (Page 77) Title I

Individuals receiving SSI and/or SSDI benefits are presumed eligible for VR services are defined as an individual with a significant disability, and are presumptively placed in Priority 2 and will be assessed further to determine if they meet the criteria for Category 1. (Page 250) Title I

The designated state unit will coordinate activities with any other State agency that is functioning as an employment network under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program under Section 1148 of the Social Security Act. (Page 287, Page 380) Title IV

Integrated Supports and Design
Vocational Rehabilitation, Ticket—to—Work, One—Stop Career Centers, adult education and community colleges offer a range of resources to job seekers with disabilities that have greater impact on the success rate of an individual if they are leveraged.
Initial Vocational Rehabilitation assessment process offers a consumer a wide range of preparation and support services documented in an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). For the individual:
•Physical and Mental Restoration Services
•Career Counseling
•Training (OJT, Pharmacy Tech, High School Internships, Competitive Integrated Employment Services vendors, Transitional Internship Program, Transition to Adulthood Programs, etc.)
•Benefits Planning
•Assistive Technology
•Vehicle Modification
•Job Site Accommodations
•Job Coaching Services (Page 529) Title IV
 

Employer / Business Engagement

~~The WIOA legislation emphasizes the use of job-driven and industry-based training through employer engagement. MRC continues to develop and utilize Job-Driven Trainings and on-the-job (OJT) training and evaluations. MRC has found that many consumers who participate in an OJT or Job-Driven training obtain employment with the OJT or JDT and others are able to obtain employment elsewhere as a result of their participation in the OJT or JDT through which they gained a recent work experience and/or developed job-specific skills. Over the past 5 years, MRC has conducted close to 900 OJTs with employers and approximately 500 consumers have completed Job-Driven trainings with MRC employer partners. MRC has created job driven training programs to date with the Home Depot, CVS Health, Advance Auto Parts for Sales and Driver positions; Enterprise for Service Agent, Driver, and Lot Attendant, Lowes, G4S Security Solutions, the Kraft Group, MAPFRE Insurance, and Allied Barton Security Services. In addition, MRC held a job-driven training for human service jobs. (Page 212) Title I

MRC continues to focus on reaching out to employers and develop partnerships designed to lead to competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. This is tied into the emphasis of employer engagement under WIOA. MRC’s Employment Service Specialists in coordination with the Job Placement Specialists continue to outreach to employers especially to those in high growth industries, including employer accounts. (Page 272 )Title IV

MCB is currently exploring the best avenues to solicit employers’ opinions about additional mutual cooperation to identify competitive integrated employment and career exploration and pre-employment transition opportunities for consumers and students with disabilities. The agency will use the knowledge and expertise of those Rehabilitation Council members who represent business, labor, and industry and that of the members of the Perkins Business Partnership, an alliance among Perkins, the Carroll Center for the Blind, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind in this endeavor. (Page 301) Title IV

Data Collection

MRC has a web—based Management Information System known as MRCIS, which serves as the case management and data system for MRC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Data is tracked and managed at the client level for all MRC VR consumers. The system documents and covers all aspects of the VR process from referral to exit. The system is used to produce a quarterly data file entitled the RSA—911 report submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration containing detailed client and employment data. MCB has a Management Information System known as System 7, which serves as the case management and data system for MCB’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Data is tracked and managed at the client level for all MCB VR consumers. The system documents and covers all aspects of the VR process from referral to exit. The system will be modified to produce a quarterly data file entitled the RSA—911 report submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration containing detailed client and employment data. (Page 91) Title I

Under WIOA, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is required to report VR data to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) through the RSA-911 report which will be submitted via the RSA portal on a quarterly basis with open and closed case data. As part of its WIOA reporting process to report data and to measure performance on the Common Measures to RSA, MRC will require individual level wage data from Unemployment Insurance data. MRC will be required to report data for consumers exiting from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program both successfully and unsuccessfully at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter after exit from the VR program for the following fields from Unemployment Insurance data from DUA based on Social Security Numbers provided by MRC to DUA using a secure interchange method of data transmission. (Page 114-115) Title I

Goal 4: Maximize Employment Retention for MRC Consumers Successfully Employed at Exit from Vocational Rehabilitation at the Second Quarter after Exit. Measurement: Employment Rate at the 2nd Quarter after Exit for MRC Consumers closed during the Current Program Year (Successful and Unsuccessful closures) based on Unemployment Insurance Wage Earnings Target: Continue to establish baseline data over the next 2 program years Data Source: Closure Data from MRCIS Case Management System, RSA—911 Report, Unemployment Insurance Quarterly Wage Data Frequency: Annually Goal 5: Maximize Employment Retention for MRC Consumers Successfully Employed at Exit from Vocational Rehabilitation at the Fourth Quarter after Exit Measurement: Employment Rate at the 4th Quarter after Exit for MRC Consumers closed during the Current Program Year (Successful and Unsuccessful closures) based on Unemployment Insurance Wage Earnings Target: Continue to establish baseline data over the next 2 program years Data Source: Closure Data from MRCIS Case Management System, RSA—911 Report, Unemployment Insurance Quarterly Wage Data Frequency: Annually (Page 245) Title IV

Goal 11: Maximize the number of Consumers Exiting the MRC VR Program whose Primary Source of Economic Support is from their own Employment Earnings Measurement: Proportion of Individuals Successfully Closed in Status 26 in the current fiscal year with a RSA—911 Employment Status Code of Competitive Employment in MRCIS with hourly wages at or above minimum wage (the higher of either State or Federal Minimum Wage, currently is $11.00 in Massachusetts) whose Primary Source of Support at Closure is Personal Income (Code 1) minus the proportion of those consumers whose primary source of support at application was personal income (Code 1). Target: At or above 58% Data Source: MRCIS Case Management System, Monthly Standards and Indicators Tracking Report Frequency: Monthly, Annually. (Page 246-247) Title I

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~On a regular basis, the ESE will monitor LEAs’ development and use of policies and procedures, including those regarding Section 504 and the transition requirements of IDEA. All monitoring reports will be made publicly available on the ESE’s web site. The ESE has provided guidance to LEAs, in accordance with 34 CFR 397.31, entitled “Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment” to inform LEAs that WIOA prohibits LEAs from entering into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in 34 CFR 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program under which a youth with a disability is engaged in subminimum wage employment. The ESE assures that it will not enter such a contract or other arrangement. (Page 206) Title I

Administration of the Provision of VR Services:
h. comply with the requirements for the conduct of semiannual or annual reviews, as appropriate, for individuals employed either in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or any other employment under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as required by section 101(a)(14)of the Rehabilitation Act. (Pages 286-287, Page 380) Title IV
 

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

In order to create and implement the One—Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA—mandated career center operator competitive selection process. Additionally, through the One—Stop Career Center standards development process, career center responsive service delivery structure was determined to be a critical element in career center operation. This includes assessing the career center location for accessibility to the communities it serves, whether hours of operation are responsive to all partners’, possessing adaptive technology, and ADA—compliance. The Workforce Development Board Certification (WDB) Workgroup, a sub—committee of the WIOA Jobseeker and Employer Steering Committee, is designing standards for Workforce Board certification pursuant to new WIOA responsibilities. These new Workforce Board standards will be incorporated into enhanced local and regional delivery and project models and related policies. The standards include the examination of board systems to conduct comprehensive annual reviews for programmatic and physical accessibility, including level of engagement of the disability community in conducting these reviews. New standards for certification will also require Workforce Boards to demonstrate how One—Stop Career Centers are incorporating a universal design approach as the basis of standards for accessibility, ensuring a comprehensive process that focuses on both programmatic and physical access to meet the needs of a full array of customers. Every One—Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non—discrimination. (Page 117) Title I

The Massachusetts Department of Career Services adheres to Section 188 of WIA, The Governors Executive Order No. 478, and the Mass Workforce Policy No. 01—35. All One—Stops in the regions have incorporated practices to effectively serve persons with disabilities through required assistive technology and equipment at each center. Accessibility to serve job seekers with a disability is reviewed annually. Standard adaptive equipment for One—Stop Career Center’s include: ZoomText, Jaws, Scanner for Jaws/ZoomText, Dragon Naturally Speaking hands—free voice activated software, Braille Labeler, Assistive listening devices, Text TTY line, height adjustable tables, and Trackball mouse, and other assistive technology. (Page 118) Title I

MRC will continue to consult with core partners on the identified needs of their consumers as it relates to accessibility and access to employment opportunities, employment training, and provide employer trainings on disability awareness and job accommodations. MRC is reaching out to its core partners as part of its next needs assessment to gather additional data on the needs of individuals in the overall workforce system to complement and further enhance the CSNA process going forward. (Page 238) Title I

MRC has completed a project to translate all consumer correspondence letters from the MRCIS web-based case management system into seven commonly used foreign languages in Massachusetts, including Khmer, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese (Mandarin). This will help to enhance services and accessibility to consumers in the Asian community. The letters have been posted to MRC’s intranet for counselors to use and have been directly incorporated into MRCIS. (Page 269, Page 273) Title I

The MCB RC has made the following recommendations for FFY 2019 on VR services o Make budget recommendations and advocate, when appropriate, to ensure that MCB both receives sufficient VR funding and provides appropriate and cost-effective services for consumers; o Through interaction with pertinent MCB staff, as well as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the AIM Library, continue to try to ascertain the number and percentage of blind students currently receiving braille instruction and orientation and mobility instruction, and what criteria are being used to make such decisions; o Ensure that MCB’s social services and vocational rehabilitation staff can fully participate in IEP meetings for children and youth; o Enhance the service delivery of MCB VR counselors to increase job development activities, job placement services, technology services, job retention, and job coaching services to all individuals (including individuals with other disabilities in addition to blindness) receiving vocational services at MCB regional offices; o Work with committee chairs to grow and increase the productivity of RC committees; o Work and advocate for accessibility of state and local government portal systems, including all applications for services and all documents posted on these portals; (Page 289) Title I

Veterans

How the State intends to provide employment, training and job placement services to veterans and eligible persons under the JVSGAll customers who appear for services at the Career Center are asked if they are a Veteran. If the customer identifies as a Veteran they are immediately informed of their Priority of Service status. Career Center staff first offer the Veteran a spot in the next Career Center Seminar (orientation) the main portal into the Massachusetts Workforce Development and Career Center System. This orientation provides all customers including Veterans information on, and access to, the full array of services, programs and activities available at or accessible from the Career Center. As part of the orientation the Veteran will complete a self— assessment of their work search strategies, if appropriate, complete the Career Readiness 101 assessment, complete a job profile and with a career counselor and establish the next appropriate step in their Career Plan. If appropriate due to determination that the Veteran customer has significant barriers to employment the Veteran will be referred to the DVOP. If the Veteran customer prefers not to attend a CCS they are provided with information on the full array of services available and scheduled for the next appropriate service. If they asked to speak with a Veteran representative they will be referred to that Veteran representative. (Page 436) Title IV

A second key partnership exists with the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS). Through this agency, each Commonwealth town and municipality has an assigned Veterans’ Services Officer to provide a wide range of benefits and services to Veterans. Cross training and relationship building at the state and local level have enhanced our ability to quickly address the needs of Veterans. Both the VA and the DVS regularly participate in local, regional and statewide Veterans’ programs, events and training sessions. The Department of Career Services will utilize JVSG incentive funds to support the attendance of both JVSG and non-JVSG staff at the annual National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Veterans Conference.Outreach and linkage to those Veterans most in need of individualized services is an ongoing top priority. Local DVOPs have direct contact and coordination with homeless Veteran shelters (HVRP grantees) to provide direct services and training program opportunities leading to gainful employment and self-sufficiency. Included in these outreach efforts are broad-based marketing and promotion of Veteran-oriented events, job fairs and education/training programs. (Page 438) Title IV

Massachusetts provides training on the implementation of Veterans’ Priority of Service. Training is provided to DVOPs, LVERs, One—Stop Career Center Directors and Operations Managers, Local Workforce Boards, Career Center Staff, Core Partners and other workforce partner personnel to further assure full and effective implementation of Veterans’ priority of service requirements at the local level. The training emphasizes: • Identifying “the point of entry” of federal employment and training programs in order for covered persons to take full advantage of priority of services. • That staff must assure that at the initial contact point (point of entry) covered persons are made aware of: o their entitlement to priority of service; o the full array of employment, training, and placement services; and o any applicable eligibility requirements for those programs or services. • That local policies and procedures must ensure: o monitoring and evaluation of priority of service will be incorporated within monitoring policies and procedures; and o all reporting requirements will be met. (Page 440) Title IV

7. Develop career pathway maps or service flowcharts for veterans who are “shared customers” between local One—Stop Career Centers and the Department of Veterans’ Services and other key partners. Local MOU partners can customize the template developed by the WIOA Steering Committee (ATTACHMENT C—7). The local area partners will identify the roles for each Partner in supporting career pathway development specifically for Veterans.In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local partners could consider the following areas for shared resources to:a) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers who are Veterans at One—Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP)/Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER), Department of Veterans resources, use of TORQ for career counseling, Career Ready 101, NCRC testing, employer industry panels job seekers, resources for Veteran’s with disabilities (e.g. access to support and adaptive technologies) etc. (Could be offered at various sites.)b) Creation of a referral processes for directing Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) to local DVOPs and other appropriate services. (Page 517) Title IV

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~7. Response to Recommendation on Peer Mentors:  The VR program offers peer mentoring programs through collaboration with the Independent Living Centers (ILCs). MRC will continue to ensure consumers are appropriately referred to the ILC’s for Peer mentoring services including mentoring around employment. Peer mentoring from the ILCs is a key part of two current grant projects, including the Transition Pathway Service grant and the Kessler Foundation Career Pathway Services grant. MRC will evaluate the results of these initiatives 
MRC does not have the resources to develop this type of training program, but MRC can have discussions with the ILCs to determine if this type of mentoring happens, and if not, how we can ensure a structure is put in place. With future collaborative projects in the works with the Department of Mental Health, MRC will incorporate the Peer Specialist Model within our VR offices, thus adding a very different mentoring feature to Vocational Rehabilitation. (Page 198) Title I

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission continues to promote the collaboration with stakeholders regarding supported employment services and extended services. This is also evidenced in the number of joint funded programs that have been established. Some examples of these collaborative programs are joint funding of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities between the MRC and the Developmental Disability Services (DDS); for individuals with mental health needs between MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH); for individuals who have traumatic brain injuries between the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. MRC has Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with DDS and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). These MOUs are designed to improve collaboration, coordination and utilization of joint agency resources in ensuring quality service delivery and long term supports that result in competitive/supported employment outcomes for mutual consumers. This collaboration is at the Regional and local levels. Through developing a process for conducting joint-service planning, local liaisons/training and joint service planning, all consumers and specifically transition aged individuals be better served and able to achieve successful employment outcomes. (Page 209-210) Title I

MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) are working collaborative to coordinate and improve services to shared consumers to assist them in their efforts to obtain employment and living independently in the community. MRC and DMH have developed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide efforts to work collaboratively to identify the individuals that they mutually serve through implementing an ongoing data collection system, to foster joint service planning and interagency training to increase employment opportunities and positive employment outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness. The MOU will be revised as needed. (Page 217) Title I

MRC and DMH are also collaborating on a pilot project for shared consumers in 3 areas designed to develop and/or enhance service delivery strategies and services through a collaborative team model approach to improve the time it takes a consumer to move from program eligibility to receiving services; rapidly moving consumers into successful employment opportunities based on their abilities, skills, and interests. Competitive employment for participants is the objective in which consumers are matched to opportunities in demand in the local job market. The teams will track both qualitative and quantitative results through this document to measure the effectiveness and the development of this model over time. In addition, MRC and DMH are developing an employment initiative with state funding to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. MRC will develop a new employment model based on the Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using this new model. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process. (Page 219) Title I

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission continues to promote the collaboration with stakeholders regarding supported employment services and extended services. This is also evidenced in the number of joint funded programs that have developed. Some examples of these collaborative programs are joint funding of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities between the MRC and the Developmental Disability Services (DDS); for individuals who are psychiatrically disabled between MRC and the Department of Mental Health (DMH); for individuals who have traumatic brain injuries between the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. (Page 254) Title IV

In addition, MRC and DMH are developing an employment initiative with state funding to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. MRC will develop a new employment model based on the Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using this new model. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process and will involve CRPs. (Page 258) Title IV

3. DMH Pilot Project and Employment Initiative: MRC and the Department of Mental Health are collaborating on a pilot project for shared consumers in 3 areas designed to develop and/or enhance service delivery strategies and services through a collaborative team model approach to improve the time it takes a consumer to move from program eligibility to receiving services; rapidly moving consumers into successful employment opportunities based on their abilities, skills, and interests. Competitive employment for participants is the objective in which consumers are matched to opportunities in demand in the local job market. The teams will track both qualitative and quantitative results through this document to measure the effectiveness and the development of this model over time.
In addition, as part of this effort, MRC and DMH are developing a new employment initiative to be supplemented with additional state funds from DMH to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. This project will use a new employment model based on the Vermont Progressive Employment Model to assist consumers in obtaining employment using a rapid engagement process. (Pages 277-278) Title I
 

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 73

Veterans' employment representatives - 03/24/2020

“Job search help for veterans

Veterans' employment representatives (VERs) are state employees located in the state's MassHire Career Centers. Their job is to:

Help you organize your job searchWork with you to design your own personal employment plan, a comprehensive and flexible way to help you manage your job searchAssist you with writing your resumeHelp you to develop your job leads”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Vocational Services Utilization Guide Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) - 03/07/2020

“Vocational Rehabilitation Supportive Independent Living Services (VR/IL)

This document is a guide for both the Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and the staff of Community Rehabilitation Providers to determine which CIES service component to choose.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Work Without Limits-Events - 02/13/2020

“Work Without Limits regularly offers educational and networking events for employers, service providers, and individuals with disabilities. Our events include, but are not limited to, career fairs, our annual Raise the Bar HIRE! conference, as well as our annual Disability Mentoring Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement

$10M in Workforce Grants Awarded to Fund Training for More Than 6,500 Workers, Create 1,361 New Jobs - 02/13/2020

“[On February 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) grants that will train more than 6,500 workers and add an expected 1,361 new jobs by 2021.

The 96 grants awarded involve 133 companies from across the Commonwealth. These grants will fund customized training that promotes job growth, retention and increased opportunity for workers. Upskilling the local workforce helps Massachusetts businesses and entrepreneurs grow their businesses, become more productive and fuel a strong and resilient Bay State economy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Resource Leveraging

Veterans CARE Project - 02/11/2020

“Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) is a VA, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and City of Boston initiative to help Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find and keep good jobs. Hear from the Veterans CARE team and participating Veterans.

Veterans CARE is an initiative of the VA to support unemployed or underemployed Veterans with PTSD in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The program provides Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based approach to supported employment that emphasizes rapid job search that matches an individual’s needs and preferences, alongside integrated mental health care. IPS Employment Specialists work closely with participants’ mental health care providers to ensure that employment opportunities match their needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans

Work Without Limits Resources - 02/02/2020

“We offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Department of Developmental Services - 01/30/2020

“The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community….

The Department’s mission is to create, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully in their communities and meaningfully engage as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Secondary Transition: Transition Topics - 11/20/2019

This page is a collection of state and federal resources for students and families to help with the transition process after high school. 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

DMH Young Adult Resource Guide Transition Age Youth Services - 10/24/2019

This page has information and links for “Transition Age Youth Services in Massachusetts”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2020 - 07/02/2019

~~“Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant Fund Codes: 240Purpose: Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Massachusetts law about veterans - 06/12/2019

~~“A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on veterans' legal issues, by the Trial Court Law Libraries.”

Systems
  • Other

FY2019 Final Budget Chapter 154 AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2019 - 06/01/2019

~~“For community-based day and work programs and associated transportation costs for adults; provided, that the department shall provide transportation prioritized by need; provided further, that the department shall support individuals with disabilities who transitioned from employment services offered at sheltered workshops to community-based employment as part of the commonwealth’s employment first initiative; provided further, that any public-private partnerships with employers and non-profits shall encourage the highest level of independence among individuals with disabilities and provide options to maximize community involvement and participation; provided further, that not later than December 14, 2018, the department shall issue a report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities detailing: (a) eligible individuals who transitioned to community-based employment in fiscal year 2018 and those projected for fiscal year 2019; and (b) the number and types of transitions funded by the pilot program since its inception, delineated by fiscal year; provided further, that not less than $75,000 shall be expended to the town of Natick to support Camp Arrowhead to provide recreational programs for individuals with disabilities; and provided further, that not less than $25,000 shall be expended on the Opportunity Works for the Project SEARCH program.............................................. $210,704,791”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 30

Veterans' employment representatives - 03/24/2020

“Job search help for veterans

Veterans' employment representatives (VERs) are state employees located in the state's MassHire Career Centers. Their job is to:

Help you organize your job searchWork with you to design your own personal employment plan, a comprehensive and flexible way to help you manage your job searchAssist you with writing your resumeHelp you to develop your job leads”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Vocational Services Utilization Guide Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) - 03/07/2020

“Vocational Rehabilitation Supportive Independent Living Services (VR/IL)

This document is a guide for both the Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and the staff of Community Rehabilitation Providers to determine which CIES service component to choose.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Veterans CARE Project - 02/11/2020

“Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) is a VA, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and City of Boston initiative to help Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find and keep good jobs. Hear from the Veterans CARE team and participating Veterans.

Veterans CARE is an initiative of the VA to support unemployed or underemployed Veterans with PTSD in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The program provides Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based approach to supported employment that emphasizes rapid job search that matches an individual’s needs and preferences, alongside integrated mental health care. IPS Employment Specialists work closely with participants’ mental health care providers to ensure that employment opportunities match their needs.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Veterans

Department of Developmental Services - 01/30/2020

“The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community….

The Department’s mission is to create, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully in their communities and meaningfully engage as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Secondary Transition: Transition Topics - 11/20/2019

This page is a collection of state and federal resources for students and families to help with the transition process after high school. 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

DMH Young Adult Resource Guide Transition Age Youth Services - 10/24/2019

This page has information and links for “Transition Age Youth Services in Massachusetts”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health

IDEA Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools - 06/13/2019

~~This page is a list of resources, sample documents and other materials to help parents of students with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Veterans' Job Programs and Services - 06/12/2019

~~“The MassHire Department of Career Services provides employment and training services to veterans and their families. Dedicated staff is available throughout the state to help veterans transition to civilian employment. Veterans and their eligible spouses receive Priority of Service throughout the full array of services provided through the Career Center system.”

Systems
  • Other

Veterans Laws and Benefits - 04/29/2019

~~“The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is pleased to present this publication of Veterans’ Laws and Benefits, a compilation of resources regarding major state benefits in the areas of education, employment, housing, motor vehicles, property taxes, and medical assistance. Information regarding recent amendments to federal and state legislation on employment rights and federal burial benefits is also offered”

Systems
  • Other

Transition to Employment Get the Facts - 04/29/2019

~~“You can achieve competitive integrated employment even if you need job supports on an ongoing basis.The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) defines competitive integrated employment as•  Work that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis (including self-employment) that pays above minimum wage and not less than the customary rate paid by the employer for the same or similar work to individuals who have similar training, experience, and skills;•  With eligibility for the level of benefits provided to other employees in similar positions;•  At a location where employee interacts with other people who are not individuals with disabilities to the same extent as other employees without disabilities in comparable positions;•  As appropriate, presents opportunities for advancement that are similar to those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • WIOA
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

$10M in Workforce Grants Awarded to Fund Training for More Than 6,500 Workers, Create 1,361 New Jobs - 02/13/2020

“[On February 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) grants that will train more than 6,500 workers and add an expected 1,361 new jobs by 2021.

The 96 grants awarded involve 133 companies from across the Commonwealth. These grants will fund customized training that promotes job growth, retention and increased opportunity for workers. Upskilling the local workforce helps Massachusetts businesses and entrepreneurs grow their businesses, become more productive and fuel a strong and resilient Bay State economy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits Resources - 02/02/2020

“We offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

How schools and MRC work together - 10/20/2018

~~“If you are a student with a disability, your high school staff can connect you with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and a pre-employment transition services provider (pre-ETS) to help you explore and prepare for a job or further education. MRC can help you explore interests and connect to opportunities both during and after High School.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Blueprint for Success: Partnerships - 11/01/2013

"In July 2013, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe appointed a group of disability providers, advocates and DDS leaders to examine day and employment support programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Employment Workgroup ‟s goal has been to develop a five-year plan to increase both inclusive employment opportunities and higher earning potential for individuals with ID, while phasing out the use of sheltered workshops.  The Workgroup has achieved consensus on the following plan, which is reflected in proposed changes, goals, recommendations, and timelines to achieve the desired outcomes.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment - 01/26/2019

~~“The Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment (MPTE) is a systems-change project of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. The project is designed to improve employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities transitioning from school to adult life.

MPTE is funded through September 2021 by a 5-year federal grant from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Disability Employment Initiative - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Massachusetts was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

  In 2014 Massachusetts was awarded a Round 5 grant.  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits – About Us - 07/01/2009

~~“Work Without Limits is an initiative out of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).  Our goal is to position Massachusetts as the first state in the nation where the employment rate of people with disabilities is equal to people without disabilities.Work Without Limits is a network of employers, educational institutions, employment service providers, and state and federal agencies.Through collaboration and partnership, our goal is to increase the employment of people with disabilities until it is equal to those without disabilities.Work Without Limits programs and services are geared to meet the needs of businesses that actively recruit people with disabilities, individuals with disabilities who are seeking jobs, and the employment providers that serve them.We provide training and consulting services to help build the capacity of employers, employment service providers, state agency personnel, and educational institutions in advancing workplace disability inclusion.” 

·      ·     

·     

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Work Incentives Grant (Southern Essex)

“The North Shore Employment Consortium (NoSEC), led by the Southern Essex Workforce Investment Board, will address the need for full accessibility to employment and training services for all citizens. NoSEC partners are targeting this project for people with disabilities in the nineteen cities and towns of Southern Essex County, Massachusetts. NoSEC partners will institute a cultural paradigm shift towards improved physical and programmatic accessibility. This project will include a training/marketing program for employment service providers, employers, and disabled persons, and the community at large. The project will also focus on transportation needs of disabled persons seeking employment and on the creation of relevant internships for people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Work Without Limits-Events - 02/13/2020

“Work Without Limits regularly offers educational and networking events for employers, service providers, and individuals with disabilities. Our events include, but are not limited to, career fairs, our annual Raise the Bar HIRE! conference, as well as our annual Disability Mentoring Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2020 - 07/02/2019

~~“Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant Fund Codes: 240Purpose: Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.” 

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Work Without Limits - 05/08/2019

~~“ResourcesWe offer an extensive list of Work Without Limits resources along with a comprehensive listing of external resources all focused on disability inclusion, working and public benefits, accommodations, and so much more. Check back regularly as this list is updated frequently.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary (Word document) - 01/01/2019

~~“ESE seeks to ensure that all Massachusetts students are prepared for success after high school. To attain this goal, we have been working to provide individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experiences in the academic, workplace readiness, and personal/social domains to successfully navigate to completion an economically viable career pathway in a 21st century economy. The College, Career, and Technical Education unit, working in collaboration with a variety of interagency and state level partners, provides professional development, technical assistance, and grant funding to promote strategies that help all students become college and career ready. “

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

IPS Supported Employment for Youth: Learn About IPS - 11/09/2018

~~“Agency leaders, including the agency executive director, must understand the basic principles of this approach so they can organize agency services to support the evidence-based practice. For example, leaders should know that IPS specialists help people search for regular (competitive) jobs as soon as youth express interest, and that any person who wants to pursue a career is eligible for IPS services. Administrators who know about the practice avoid developing work readiness programs because they understand that using a stepwise approach to employment is counter to IPS practice principles. Agency leaders can learn about IPS by attending IPS training with their staff. Doing so communicates to practitioners that helping people with careers is important. Another way to learn about IPS is to read this manual or a book titled Individual Placement and Support: An Evidence-based Approach to Supported Employment by Drake, Bond, and Becker, published by Oxford Press. Additional information about IPS supported employment is at www.ipsworks.org  “.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Department of Education – Transition Specialist Training Requirements - 09/22/2015

Staff who provide employment services must have subject matter knowledge of:

“Foundations and implementation of transition education and transition services;” “Individual transition assessment and system evaluation, including conducting, interpreting, and overseeing individualized formal and informal transition assessments;” “How to develop transition systems and supports which include best practices in postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, and community participation;” “Collaboration including strategies for active participation of students and families in IEP development, transition education and services, and support networks; development of partnerships with employers.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Employment First Technical Assistance - 11/01/2014

~~“On November 1, 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in conjunction with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The ARC of Massachusetts, released the [Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts]…. The blueprint outlines a plan to implement [Employment First … in Massachusetts. To assist providers with the transformation from center based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, has established the Employment First Technical Assistance Center. Through this center, the ICI provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the blueprint. Over the past year, more than 18 agencies that recently offered center-based employment supports have received technical assistance to develop expanded capacity to provide integrated employment supports, as well as community-based day services. Technical assistance is provided by ICI staff as well as a cadre of qualified consultants. A limited amount of technical assistance may be available for additional providers. “

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Employment Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days"

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Massachusetts Medicaid buy-in: Feasibility of establishing a small employer premium sharing plan for participation in MassHealth - 10/27/2018

~~“Pursuant to Chapter 47 of the Acts of 2017, this study examines the opportunities and challenges associated with allowing small employers to share premiums with or “buy into” MassHealth, the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program. Premium sharing would split the cost of covering employees who are eligible for the MassHealth program between MassHealth and the employer, while a buy in program would allow employees to enroll in a Medicaid benefit at any income but without subsidies and without federal “match” funding. Such a program could take many forms and achieve many different goals. This study outlines several approaches to premium sharing and buy-in programs and offers potential considerations for the General Court should it choose to approach this issue in the future.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration - 02/21/2018

“The MassHealth demonstration is a statewide multi-faceted health reform effort. The demonstration was initially implemented in July 1997, and has developed over time through amendments and renewals reflecting new priorities and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The demonstration authorizes Medicaid income eligibility for certain categorically eligible populations including pregnant women, parents or adult caretakers, infants, children and individuals with disabilities, and provides premium subsidies to qualifying individuals who are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) consistent with levels provided under the demonstration prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

The fifth renewal was approved October 30, 2014. It expires June 30, 2019.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Massachusetts HCBS Transition Plan - 12/01/2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule related to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Medicaid-funded long term services and supports provided in residential and non-residential home and community-based settings. The final rule took effect March 17, 2014. States are required to submit transition plans to CMS within one year of the effective date indicating how they intend to comply with the new requirements within a reasonable time period. If states amend or renew any of their currently operating waivers or state plan amendments prior to the effective date, that action serves as a trigger for the state to submit a transition plan for all its waivers under 1915(c), as well as any state plan amendments under 1915(i) or 1915(k) within 120 days of the amendment/renewal submission. The following is Massachusetts’ statewide transition plan pursuant to this requirement. The main focus of this Transition Plan is on residential supports offered through HCBS waivers.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living Waiver (1915c) - 07/01/2013

This waiver, "provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID"

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Adult Supports Waiver (0828.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Intensive Supports Waiver (0827.R01.00) [1915c] - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, day hab supplement, 24-hr self directed home sharing support, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transitional assistance services, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living (0826.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Residential Supports Waiver (1028.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides prevocational services, residential habilitation, supported employment, addiction services, assisted living, community crisis stabilization, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, residential family training, shared living 24-hr supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, transportation for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Community Living Waiver (1027.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides home health aide, homemaker, personal care, prevocational services, respite, supported employment, addiction services, adult companion, chore, community crisis stabilization, community family training, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, independent living supports, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, shared home supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, supportive home care aide, transportation, vehicle mods for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Phablet

Snapshot

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusetts VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
-0.14%
Change from
2018 to 2019
6,892,503
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
374,288
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
5.63%
Change from
2018 to 2019
155,507
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
8.06%
Change from
2018 to 2019
41.55%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
2.03%
Change from
2018 to 2019
81.76%

State Data

General

2019
Population. 6,892,503
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 374,288
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 155,507
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,238,241
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 41.55%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 81.76%
State/National unemployment rate. 2.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.50%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 8.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 370,156
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 414,937
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 629,947
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 68,145
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 103,632
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 5,445
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 24,240
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 215
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 24,884
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 32,217

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,967
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 6.20%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 188,851

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 1,546
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 6,988
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 11,772
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.70%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,456
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 48
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 75.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2019
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 33.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 11,152
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 310,618
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 31
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 135

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $53,636,282
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. N/A
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $170,451,668
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $99,766,711
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 40.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 6,798
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 9,376
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 102.77

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 63.83%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 13.40%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 97.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 50.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 79.37%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 87.09%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 29.37%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 5
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 5
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 250
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 250

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First

~~MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets quarterly; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams, the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE), the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Association (MRA), and other provider trade groups across the Commonwealth. In addition, MRC District Contract Supervisors also conduct quarterly on-site review meetings to assess performance and provide feedback to assist CRPs providing services for MRC. (Page 258) Title IV

9. Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. MRC staff are also reviewing and researching the Vermont Progressive Employment model as part of MRC’s efforts to develop a new innovative initiative with the Department of Mental Health using state funding as described above. (Pages 278-279) Title IV

Customized Employment

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~The lower numbers overall of OSCC customers who also work with partner agencies such as TANF/ SNAP and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission signal an opportunity for the Massachusetts Workforce System to reverse this trend. Beyond the One-Stop Career Centers, our system continues to be engaged in various programs and partnerships that incorporate additional workforce activities and supportive services. Leveraging programs that multiple agencies and workforce partners share in utilizing is key in to this effort under WIOA. (Page 34) Title I

The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements). (Page 50) Title I

Utilize federal and state resources to support job-driven, integrated education and training adult basic education participants including leveraging workforce resources to create these models (e.g. the use of ITAs for Title II participants). (Page 56) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

KEY GOALS, OUTCOMES and WIOA STRATEGIES CHART The federal portal doesnot provide the ability to include this chart/graphic in the State Plan submission. Please review the missing information by viewing the copy of Massachusetts State Plan posted on www.mass.gov/massworkforce/state-plan/ Key Goals Align Economic, Education and Workforce Systems to Labor Market OSCC Priority of Services for Individuals with Barriers to Employment (Disabilities, Low-Skilled, Low-Income, TANF/SNAP, Veterans, etc.) Redesign and Coordinate Business Services (Demand-Driven 2.0) Expected Outcomes Resources and career pathways organized to economic need • Create deeper service pathways at OSCCs • Increase credentialing and job placement rates Increase outcomes for businesses Strategy (WIOA Lever / Tool for Change) Regional Planning (Workforce Skills Cabinet Initiative leveraging WIOA requirement for Regional Planning) Reductions in OSCC Customer Volume (improving economy) (Pages 71-72) Title I

Education Partnerships, Leveraging Resources for Education, and Access to Post—Secondary Credentials The vision for the WIOA Plan to organize and promote the progression of individuals along career pathways depends upon a larger number of individuals moving into post—secondary attainment of credentials in order to meet the job demand in the Massachusetts economy. While higher education is not a required Core Partner program in WIOA, our higher education system, represented by the Department
pg. 86of Higher Education, is a key partner on the WIOA Steering Committee and in the implementation of the WIOA Plan. State leaders will focus on new strategies that assist more individuals, especially individuals with limited education and skill, in accessing higher education. That includes building on the state’s past success with the USDOL TAACCT initiatives. (Pages 85-86) Title I

As discussed in Section II goals and strategies, the Commonwealth developed its Economic Development Plan with significant input from the education and workforce systems. The Economic Development Plan is being utilized in the development of the WIOA State Plan. In addition, the Governor is leveraging the required WIOA regional planning process to create a new, integrated regional planning process (to be named) across the economic, education, and workforce Secretariats. The new regional planning structure will be based on an aligned regional map between workforce areas, economic development, and education regions. The new process will require seven coordinated teams led by Workforce Development Boards, Community Colleges and Vocational Technical Schools, and economic development (Massachusetts Office of Business Development) with additional partners (business leaders, community—based—organizations, etc.) to ensure that education and training systems are focused on the career pathways needed in the regional economy. The regional leadership from economic development will therefore drive the activities of the Workforce Development Boards and key WIOA partners through the resulting regional plans. (Pages 87-88) Title I

As WIOA is placing an emphasis on workforce development and preparing individuals for employment in a demand —driven system, occupational skills training and work experience program models will be encouraged. More robust career planning and training for occupations linked to industry needs are necessary. The procurement policy will place an emphasis on serving out—of—school youth ages 16—24, particularly out—of—school youth who are 22—24 year—olds and who are disconnected from service and resources. Local areas will be required to design pathways for youth, which are reflective of youth service needs as well as labor market and business needs. Co—enrollment between core partner programs will be encouraged to the extent possible in the local areas. Local areas will be encouraged to outreach to the core program partners for recruitment of WIOA eligible youth. A referral process between the core programs will be established to identify the roles and responsibilities of the respective program staff. Leveraging core program resources will lead to improved outcomes as well as a system that streamlining services for youth. (Page 138) Title I

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014-2015). The value of the Massachusetts DEI model is that it links access to education, credential training and job training with benefits counseling with utilization of the federal Ticket to Work Program. Prior grants and resources for this population were solely focused on employment and did not expand work to enroll more individuals into post-secondary or training programs. (Page 77) Title I

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One—Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One—Stop Employment System (MOSES) —— a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: • Title I Adult • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs) • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response) • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI) • Title I Youth • Migrant Seasonal Farm Worker (MSFW) • Unemployment Insurance employment assistance services and programs including Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) (Page 90) Title I

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One—Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter—communication regarding clients. (Pages 531-532) Title IV

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Goal IV: Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of vocational rehabilitation services delivery, as measured by the Rehabilitation Council’s annual evaluation of the agency‘s progress toward the goal.
Priorities… -Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills . (Page 359) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:
• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.
• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.
• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission -Vocational Rehabilitation for the Disabled provides services to adults, students, and youth over the age of 16 with disabilities so they can gain and maintain employment. This program is administered by the state, but is bound by federal rules tied to the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Funding primarily comes from federal sources with this line item accounting for state matching and maintenance of effort funds. The main goal of this program is to assist people with disabilities choose, obtain, and maintain competitive employment. Services offered include:
•Job-driven competitive employment and training services, including direct job placement service, partnerships with employers, on-the-job trainings (OJT), work-based learning experiences, paid internships, with a focus on high-growth industries and employment opportunities.
•Pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities.
• Vocational counseling, guidance, and career development. (Page 37) Title I

DSU's plans The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 201-202) Title I
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has established interagency cooperation between public education and public vocational rehabilitation agency regarding vocational rehabilitation services pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) to provide individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post-school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living and community participation. 
MRC continues to work to increase collaboration with educational officials, and has worked with DESE to outline interagency cooperation in a formal agreement entitled “Administrative Advisory on Pre-Employment Transition Services and Transition Services”. (Page 202) Title I

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) have developed this advisory to Local Educational Authorities (LEAs) as described below and in other sections of this document to:  1. define and describe Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) offered through MRC for students with disabilities, including which students may be appropriate for these services; 2. Establish collaborative practices between MRC vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors and Local Educational Agency (LEA) personnel for the provision of Pre-ETS. MRC provides two types of services for students with disabilities, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), and transition services through an Individualized Plan for Employment  o All students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) may receive Pre-ETS, including but not limited to those receiving services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan, and are either eligible for MRC VR services or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. Pre-ETS are provided as generalized services to groups of students, or as individualized services. (Page 202) Title I

MRC provides the five Pre-ETS services required under WIOA:
• Job exploration counseling. 
• Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school, after-school, or community-based opportunities such as internships. Work-based learning experiences must be provided in an integrated setting in the community to the maximum extent possible. 
• Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs.
• Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living. 
• Instruction in self-advocacy, including peer mentoring.  MRC will make Pre-ETS available to all students with disabilities statewide who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC services. MRC will make every effort to provide or coordinate Pre-ETS services to ensure statewide availability. (Page 202-203) Title I

Students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) who are determined eligible for MRC Vocational Rehabilitation services can receive additional transition services that are not considered Pre-ETS (beyond the scope of the five Pre-ETS services) through an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) while they are still in high school and receiving special education services, and also afterwards when seeking employment, in employment, or in postsecondary education or training. Transition services delivered through an IPE might consist of vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and/or benefits counseling. 
o The IPE must be developed within 90 days or with an extension that is documented in the MRCIS case management system and approved by the MRC counselor and the student or Parent/Guardian. The IPE goal and appropriate services should be coordinated with a student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan and include the provision of Pre-ETS. High school attendance and completion should be listed as a service on the IPE. The IPE should be completed prior to high school exit for a student determined eligible for MRC services and not under an order of selection wait list. (Page 203) Title IV

LEAs will collaborate with VR counselors to identify students with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to reach out to identified students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.
•LEAs will inform the student, parent/guardian, and other IEP Team members of the availability of Pre-ETS provided by MRC, and connect the student and family with the VR counselor.
•LEAs will invite VR counselors to participate in IEP and 504 planning meetings, as appropriate, and with the prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority. When invited to participate in these planning meetings, MRC counselors will make every effort to participate.
•LEAs will share information e.g., student and family contact and information, student assessment data, Transition Planning Forms, IEPs, and 504 plans, with MRC counselor, with the prior consent of the family or student who has reached the age of majority, and as consistent with applicable student records laws. (Pages 202-203) Title IV

DESE and MRC staff will collaborate on transition training activities for students, families, educators, rehabilitation counselors, and other involved staff, where needed and appropriate. ESE and MRC staff at the state level will collaborate, as needed and appropriate, to produce joint guidance on WIOA, and local collaboration.
pg. 205MRC and DESE have encouraged LEAs through the administrative advisory to provide MRC staff with resources necessary for MRC’s work, such as access to meeting space, work space, and Internet connection as needed. (Pages 204-205) Title IV

LEAs are asked to collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities, including but not limited to those with IEPs or 504 plans who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR program, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided. (Page 205) Title IV

LEAs and MRC are expected to collaborate to plan Pre-ETS for students with IEPs that are coordinated with each student’s individualized secondary transition services provided by the LEA. IEP Teams are asked document any agreed-upon VR services in the Action Plan of the Transition Planning Form, and may also document VR services in the Additional Information section of the IEP. LEAs and MRCs will collaborate to coordinate and deliver training activities and opportunities for students and families, where needed and appropriate. IEP documentation practices may vary among LEAs. Any conversation regarding MRC Pre-ETS at the IEP meeting needs to be individualized to meet the student’s needs. (Page 205) Title IV

The MRC will provide consultation and technical assistance to LEAs, which may be provided using alternative means for meeting participation (such as video conference and conference calls), to assist LEAs in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities and to coordinate Pre-ETS and other transition services. Pre-ETS can be provided to students who are eligible or potentially eligible for MRC VR services. If a student is determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, this consultation and technical assistance should result in the MRC’s development of an Individualized Plan for Employment ("IPE") before the student leaves the school setting. (Page 205) Title IV

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) are mutually committed to promoting individualized transition services for students with disabilities that lead to successful post—school outcomes in competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training, independent living, and community participation. 
pg. 207MRC will contribute at least 15% of its financial resources towards providing pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) to students to students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday). The high schools will provide in-kind contributions of staff time, space, and transition services/resources. MRC will continue to work closely with ESE to ensure adequate financial resources are available in the schools for high school students. (Pages 206-207) Title IV

MRC has assigned qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors to every public high school in the Commonwealth to coordinate the delivery of pre-employment transition services for potentially eligible or eligible students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) and transition services for students determined eligible for VR services delivered through an Individualized Plan for Employment. The LEAs assign qualified education staff to coordinate communication with MRC and to provide transition services under IDEA and 504. Applicable administrative staff are also involved in this process. (Page 207) Title IV

The MRC Area Offices will provide outreach to high schools to assist in informing all students with disabilities aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) of the availability of
pg. 208MRC Pre-ETS and Vocational Rehabilitation services. Outreach to these students occurs as early as possible in the transition process. MRC outreach information includes a description of the purpose of the vocational rehabilitation program, applicable eligibility requirements, referral and application procedures, and the scope of services that may be provided to eligible and potentially eligible individuals.  LEAs also collaborate with VR counselors to identify all students with disabilities who may be appropriate for Pre-ETS. MRC will cooperate with LEAs to identify students as early as possible during the transition planning process and will provide the student and family with information about the purpose of the VR and Pre-ETS programs, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and scope of services that may be provided.  (Pages 207-208) Title IV

MRC operates a summer internship program for high school students with disabilities in partnership with employers across the Commonwealth as part of its Pre-ETS programming. This program provides paid work-based learning experiences and workplace readiness training, and provides valuable work experience and mentorship opportunities for participants. Employers are also involved as part of identifying work-based learning experiences for Pre-ETS and also as part of MRC’s Transition Pathway Services demonstration grant. MRC also is working closely with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts as part of this demonstration grant to evaluate progress and to develop and promote best practices for Pre-ETS and Work-Based learning. MRC will use lessons from this grant to incorporate best practices for coordinating pre-Employment Transition services and transition services to students and youths with disabilities.
MRC also provides OJT training specifically for youth and high school students with disabilities in vocational technical schools with CVS Health and Manpower that offer both short and long term work based learning experiences to develop both skills and job readiness. (Pages 212-213) Title IV

MRC is working closely with local school districts on transition and pre-employment transition services, including those provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). MRC has a counselor assigned to every public high school in the Commonwealth and has developed strong working relationships with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). MRC is also working to coordinate its transition services with local schools and DESE with those transition services by these provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 239) Title IV

MRC is involved in several initiatives in this area, including the B-SET project, and has hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition and coordination with educational authorities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will also assist with needs in this area. (Page 241) Title IV

Some strategies developed through this process, as described in the sections below, include development and refinement of MRC’s pre-employment transition service (Pre-ETS) contract programs, the development of a new employment model with the Department of Mental Health to assist consumers with mental health needs to obtain employment. This new model is designed to rapidly engage individuals in the Vocational Rehabilitation process, a pilot project with the Department of Transitional Assistance to use the concepts of the Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) model to engage and employ individuals with disabilities receiving TANF benefits, among other strategies MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Additional details on these and other strategies can be found in the following sections. (Pages 254-255) Title IV

Through its MOU with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), MRC has established a working group to identify needs and best practices to improve and expand services for students with disabilities, including pre-employment transition services. MRC is amending its MOU with DESE to further coordinate service efforts and DESE has produced guidance for local school districts on working with MRC to coordinate transition services. This is incorporated as part of MRC’s strategic planning process MRC has also hired a Transition Manager to oversee transition, coordination with educational authorities, and implementation of strategies to improve and expand services to students with disabilities. MRC has also been awarded a 5 year, $5 million demonstration grant on work-based learning experiences by RSA for students with disabilities entitled Transition Pathway Services which will be used to identify and evaluate best practices for improving services to students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Page 258) Title IV

Transition Pathway Services Demonstration Grant Project: MRC has been awarded a 5 year demonstration grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) known as the Transition Pathway Services Grant. This project will evaluate best practices for provision of work-based learning experiences to students with disabilities through a coordinated model of services provided by community partners including MRC, career centers, independent living centers, pre-employment transition vendors and local educational authorities to increase employment and/or post-secondary education opportunity for students with disabilities based on their abilities, skills, needs and employment opportunities in the local economy. (Pages 262-263) Title IV

The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students. (Page 295) Title IV

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind‘s plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities include:• The development and implementation of a new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has a long-standing cooperative agreement relative to the services provided to legally blind children that was out-of-date. During the past year, the two agencies met a number of times to develop an updated agreement and to address problem areas and new initiatives. Specific provisions of the agreement are described in Section C. below. • The continued provision of consultation and technical assistance to the education agency relative to the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including pre-employment transition services and vocational rehabilitation services. • The continued transition planning by MCB and education personnel that facilitates the development and completion of students ‘individual education programs through the Chapter 688 process described in Section B. (Page 295) Title IV

Priorities: -Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition) consumers who are not going to college. -Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of school youth with the result that the number of students and youth participating increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.-Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Page 349) Title IV

Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through: implementation of the new agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE); working more closely with schools and teachers of the visually-impaired; working more closely with the Massachusetts Federation for Children with Special Needs (the state Parent Training and Information Center) to provide better outreach and information to parents about pre-employment transition services, vocational rehabilitation services, and the opportunities for coordination and cooperation between MCB and school personnel; providing group pre-employment transition services both after-school and during school vacations. (Page 355) Title IV

The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services).Relevant strategies and methods:
•Develop and implement plans to increase training opportunities for transition and pre-employment transition consumers who are not going to college.
•Continue and expand the agency’s internship program for legally blind students and youth who are attending college and high school graduates who are not going to college or out-of-school youth with the result that the number of students and youth who participate increases each year. Coordinate the agency’s internship program with other pre-employment transition services.
•Expand and develop a wide range of pre-employment transition services to enhance transition and employment opportunities for students who are legally blind and for potentially eligible students with disabilities as mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).•Increase pre-employment transition, transition, and college students’ access to educational materials, resources and websites.
•Improve communication and collaboration among MCB staff (VR counselors, children’s service workers and social workers) in order to facilitate services to pre-employment transition consumers who have reached their fourteenth birthday and to identify on a case by case basis the most appropriate departments within MCB to meet these individuals’ needs.
•Improve communication and collaboration between MCB VR counselors and all other state, federal, contracted and private agencies providing technology, vocational training and employment services to MCB consumers, including eligible and potentially eligible pre-employment transition consumers.
•Provide appropriate after-school assistive technology and orientation and mobility services as pre-employment transition services to eligible and potentially eligible middle and high school students. •Provide appropriate job exploration and counseling pre-employment transition services such as mentorships and exposure to real life career information.
•Provide appropriate work readiness pre-employment transition services in areas such as financial management, budgeting, and social skills. (Pages 358-359) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~The Executive Office of Education, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education, will kick off a new strategic planning process for the 15 community colleges, state universities and UMass system in 2016. The Executive Office intends to build the strategic planning requirements to include key priorities developed through the Workforce Skills Cabinet. Institutions will be expected to utilize the information developed in the State Economic Development Plan and Statewide Workforce Development Plan (required by WIOA) on key industries and high—demand career pathways as a building block for developing curriculum, programming, and capital planning. In addition, EOE will set an expectation to be part of regional planning efforts designed under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (leveraging the WIOA planning requirements) (Page 50) Title I

Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth’s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. WIOA partners will work to:•Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand •Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment (Page 51) Title I

To support Local Workforce Boards in leveraging resources for youth with disabilities who are transitioning into postsecondary education, training, and integrated employment opportunities, the Department of Career Services will work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) to:• Ensure a mutual awareness of available vocational rehabilitation and youth program services.• Share information about best practices in assisting youth with disabilities, as well as provide access to accommodations and supports available through vocational rehabilitation to assist youth with disabilities.• Develop a new referral process between the Title I Youth Program and the Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation.• Identify appropriate roles of One-Stop Career Center staff, youth services provider staff, and vocational rehabilitation staff to support career pathways for youth with disabilities that lead to integrated competitive education. (Page 58) Title I

State Level Memorandum of Understanding Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenants of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. New partnerships and cross-system operations across Career Centers, Adult Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, and TANF/SNAP established through a statewide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) based on the state goals and strategies in the Plan. The State MOU (attachment C-1) was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:• Articulate a coordinated vision for organizing the broadly defined federally-funded public workforce system • Develop career pathways for business and individuals with barriers to employment or “shared” customers across WIOA programs • Define shared WIOA infrastructure costs between WIOA programs and Career Centers • Guide the establishment of 16 local area MOUs and agreements (which will require the design of partnerships and service delivery systems through the WIOA Core Program partners at the local level) (Page 70) Title I

The Open and Competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process will consist of two separate competitive processes. A regional competition will make funding available for Community Adult Learning Centers (CALCs) offering ABE and/or ESOL services, which may also include Adult Career Pathways or bridge programs, Integrated Education and Training, and Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education grant programs, etc. The regional allocations will be determined using a formula that takes into account data from the American Community Survey. Successful applicants will be awarded funding based on the quality of their responses to the 13 considerations in Title II of WIOA. They will also be awarded points based on past performance. The regional competition will be reviewed for alignment with local plans by local boards. (Page 109) Title I

Every One—Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non—discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One—Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local
WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on—site monitoring at all 32 One—Stop locations, using the set of One—Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One—Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Pages 117-118) Title I

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to:1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand 2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
pg. 2603. Assist individuals to achieve economic self—sufficiency through support services, labor—market driven credentialing, and employment4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Pages 259-260) Title I

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. 
o Work with Core Program partners to promote Career Pathways for individuals who are legally blind and to improve the one-stop delivery system. 
o Strengthen the alignment of the MCB VR program with the other core programs of the workforce development system. 
o Use state and regional labor market information analysis to develop more employment options for consumers who are legally blind, utilizing regional labor market data, regional economic development agencies, and business intelligence gathered from interactions with core partners.
o Participate in the development of a coordinated, streamlined regional strategy for business partner outreach and follow up. (Page 291) Title I

Massachusetts intends to fully implement the key tenets of WIOA to develop robust partnerships across programs and services. Key changes from WIA to WIOA focus on improving outcomes by organizing resources, services, and structures through a “customer” lens rather than the bureaucratic administration of federal or state resources. The State MOU was designed to outline areas of agreement that help the Commonwealth implement the significant changes in WIOA including:
o Focus on Demand—Driven Services
o Priority on Business Customer
o Priority on Individuals with Barriers
o Streamlining Workforce Structures (Workforce Boards, Service Delivery, etc.)
o Increased Expectation to Create Partnerships Across Programs
o Requirement for Regional Planning
o Performance Metrics Across All Partners (including new Business Measures)
o Credentialing and Career Pathways (Page 511) Title IV

Expand existing Career Pathways Models in regions. Workforce Development Boards, One—Stop Career Centers and WIOA partners (TANF, MRC, MCB, Veteran’s etc.) work with ACLS to support the ABE Career Pathways models and offer comprehensive services for “shared customers”. (Page 515) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The Massachusetts Workforce Development Board, EOLWD and the Department of Career Services will encourage Workforce Areas to utilize federal WIOA funding to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including On-the-Job Training, Apprenticeship, Pay-for-Success models, and other tools on the pathway to postsecondary credentials. These pathway initiatives will leverage business feedback about the skills and credentials required to access opportunities and identify innovative entry points for job seekers with varying degrees of preparation. Utilize state resources to support sector or career pathway initiatives, including on-ramps to adult education, community colleges, career and technical education, On the Job Training, Apprenticeship and other tools to expand the capacity of regional partnerships to deliver talent to business. Currently, the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund is the vehicle for state resources. In addition, this is a recommended strategy to assist individuals with barriers to enter the labor market. (Page 56) Title I

On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeship is available to WIOA Adult and Youth customers, as appropriate; and of course these tools are available to Partner programs as funding permits. The Commonwealth supports local sector initiatives through WIOA and other funding sources (e.g. Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund), many of which incorporate work-based learning as part of the service strategy. The MassTalent Connect Initiative will use OJT as a strategy (OJTs funded through the Workforce Training Fund Program) to further build out OJT as a strategy for individuals who are long-term unemployed, and therefore eligible as Adult participants. Massachusetts is in the process of preparing the application for the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant, the goal of which is to increase utilization of Apprenticeship by 5%; MA anticipates an additional 418 Apprentices over the next 18 months. (Page 135) Title I

MRC will utilize available apprenticeship resources, including the ODEP guide to expand apprentic