Letter to Governors on Employment First
On July 21, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, joined by Delaware Governor Jack Markell and South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, sent a letter to governors of every state highlighting their committment to advancing the Employment First initiative.
As stated in the letter, "In recent years, a national movement referred to as Employment First has emerged to provide a framework to give people with significant disabilities the opportunity to launch careers in integrated settings earning at or above the minimum wage. This framework is centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in competitive, integrated employment and in typical community life. This growing commitment at both the State and Federal level to the principles of Employment First is predicated on data that validates the capabilities of individuals with significant disabilities for performing competitive, integrated employment with the proper customization of supports and accommodations. In short - it's the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do for taxpayers, and it makes good business sense."