State Awards Vocational Training Money For Disabled

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

HYANNIS – The state recently announced that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) has been awarded a $17 million federal innovation grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration for vocational training for individuals with disabilities.

Working with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, grant funding will be used to implement vocational rehabilitation to help disabled youth disproportionately affected by the pandemic in developing work-related skills, increasing access to employment opportunities.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, employment of individuals with disabilities has been a national concern,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.

“The administration recognizes the need for transformative efforts and support for individuals with disabilities to attain their employment goals. With this new funding, MRC will strengthen traditional systems and provide innovative services for employment to our most vulnerable residents.”

Initiatives by the MRC include the MRC Technology Academy Program, a partnership with regional community colleges and CISCO to train individuals in cybersecurity; and Project (VR)2, a virtual reality program to teach individuals individual soft skills with regional employer, Viability.

“We are excited to collaborate, problem-solve, and implement a new approach to vocational rehabilitation. We will work together to bring down barriers and make a better state possible for individuals with disabilities- one that is truly equitable, accessible and inclusive,” said Commissioner Toni Wolf.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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