Tennessee Releases “Expect Employment” Report

Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities released the “Expect Employment” report which documents the progress made by the Employment First Task Force. The task force was created in 2013 through Executive Order No. 28, and is charged with eliminating barriers, streamlining services and increasing integrated and competitive employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse disorders and other disabilities.

 As indicated in a recent news release, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee received the report while touring and meeting several interns who participate in Project SEARCH at a local hospital. Project SEARCH is a national internship model that is offered at 15 sites across Tennessee and has led to the employment of many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the conclusion of their internships.

 “Public-private partnerships are an important component to ensuring employment opportunities for people with disabilities exist,” Gov. Lee said. “We know that state government cannot achieve success alone, and we are grateful to have the support and partnership of outstanding organizations from across the state.”

 “Employment for people with disabilities is more than checking a box, it’s about changing a life,” Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Brad Turner said. “People with disabilities are already making valuable contributions to the workforce, and ensuring that our department is engaging with employers to make those connections is a top priority for me.”