Global Connections to Employment (GCE) is s a nationwide team providing jobs and training for people with significant disabilities. Now, thanks to a new collaboration with other nonprofits and industry partners, we are working to change government policy and expand opportunities for people with disabilities.
GCE is one of four founding members of The Alliance for Expanding America’s Workforce (AEAW), a 501C4 organization specifically started to support lobbying activities. Congress started a federal program in 1938 named AbilityOne® to help ensure that people with disabilities can find employment. The goal of AEAW is to enable more job opportunities for anyone with a disability who wants to work. The mission of GCE – helping people throughout life’s journey – complements AEAW’s advocacy pillars:
- Modernization of the AbilityOne Program
- Procurement with a purpose
- Expanding America’s workforce
Modernization of the AbilityOne Program
Building on the strengths of the AEAW program, the Alliance will work to protect, promote and evolve the AbilityOne Program, which began before modern-day legislation that better supports disability rights. While retaining the historical purpose of the AbilityOne program, AEAW will work to ensure the dignity and respect deserved by people with disabilities who want jobs.
Procurement with a Purpose
AEAW plans to reduce unemployment and underemployment of people with disabilities. The program will leverage purchasing and hiring power of the federal government to create incentives and new initiatives for potential workers.
Expanding American’s Workforce
Access and choice are critical elements to meaningful work. People with disabilities should not experience barriers to the kind of employment they desire. Our goal is to increase support for AbilityOne and similar programs to leverage more career opportunities.
Small and medium nonprofit organizations who pay to join, will experience a secondary benefit of AEAW. It takes resources to support lobbying activities, which smaller nonprofits simply don’t have. Therefore, AEAW will give them a voice on Capitol Hill. The Alliance creates an unprecedented opportunity for nonprofits to work together to educate and influence Congress and federal policymakers. By advocating with a unified voice through regular outreach and communication, we will create opportunities for people with disabilities and expand America’s workforce.
“With access to policy makers, we can maximize employment opportunities for people with disabilities and increase economic stability,” said Davis. “We can help people with disabilities enjoy the good quality of life that comes with a good job.”
For more information about this collaboration, contact Lori Kain, GCE Director of Community and Government Relations, at (607) 742-1433.