From State Representative Brandon Neuman
As a member of the House Labor and Industry Committee, I was pleased to vote for legislation that would provide work experience for high school students with disabilities.
The panel recently unanimously OK’d Gingrich/Baker Bill HB400, the Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities Act, designed to help Pennsylvanians with disabilities who want and deserve to work, as well as employers who need them to work.
Gingrich/Baker Bill HB400 now can be called up for a vote before the full House. It and similar legislation in the state Senate would implement policies promoting the hiring of people with disabilities and providing qualified, motivated workers for Pennsylvania businesses.
The measures would direct the state Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to:
- Advance students with disabilities in internships, on-the-job training programs and full- or part-time work at competitive wages in integrated settings.
- Collaborate with education and mental health officials to develop Individual Educational Plans that provide job training for high school students with disabilities where appropriate.
- Provide professional guidance to job-coaching services and provide the services directly to eligible individuals.
Gingrich/Baker Bill HB400 also would generate $10 million in federal funds for the OVR, a $4 return for every $1 the commonwealth invests.
Young adults with disabilities want a life filled with purpose, doing meaningful work. No one benefits when 65 percent of Pennsylvanians with disabilities can’t find jobs or have given up looking for work.