Kessler Foundation Grants $250,000 to Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s Career Pathway Services Project
EAST HANOVER, N.J. January 18, 2017—Kessler Foundation has awarded a two-year, $250,000 Signature Employment Grant to the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) to launch Career Pathway Services, an initiative to develop a customized employment and peer support model to work toward reducing unemployment and reliance on public benefits for people with disabilities. The amount is part of $2.5 million in grants awarded by Kessler Foundation last year to organizations across the U.S. to support initiatives that create and expand job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
To accomplish the project’s goals, MRC will incorporate the research and program concepts developed by Marc Gold and Associates—national leaders in Customized Employment, and WIPA Public Benefits Planning Program service into the model to assist people with disabilities to choose, obtain, and maintain employment. In addition, the project will utilize Infor Talent Science’s software to match job seekers’ abilities, skills, and interests to available positions in the local labor market. They’ll also work with their partners, the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) and the Stravros Center for Independent Living, to provide peer support services to assist in navigating the healthcare system and obtaining preventative healthcare services.
“Kessler Foundation's Signature Employment Grants are awarded nationally to fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that generate innovative ideas to solve the high unemployment and underemployment of individuals with disabilities,” said Elaine E. Katz, senior vice president of Grants and Communications at Kessler Foundation. “Many people with disabilities have trouble finding employment because of their need for customized employment and help navigating the healthcare system. The Career Pathway Services project proposes to assist them through an evidence-based, client-centered strategy.
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is developing a new, customized, best practice model for disability employment that could be replicated by vocational rehabilitation agencies and community rehabilitation providers across the country with the goal of increasing employment, reducing reliance on public benefits, and promoting self-sufficiency through earnings and preventative health benefits. MRC will create a monogram and publish its findings for presentation and replication.
Kessler Foundation is accepting applications now for its 2017 grant programs. To learn more and to apply, please visit our website. Signature Employment Grant applications must be submitted by March 17th, and Community Employment Grant applications are due by February 27th.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities.
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