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Missouri chosen for Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program

Vision Quest and CORE members selected to impact system changes

[January 19, 2018, JEFFERSON CITY, MO] –Missouri was recently selected as one of 18 states to participate in the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) for FY 2018.  The national Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) selected Core and Vision Quest states to receive intensive onsite and virtual technical assistance to further their efforts to increase competitive, integrated employment outcomes for all individuals with disabilities.

Selected as a Vision Quest state, representatives from DMH, other state departments and veterans’ facilities will engage in a series of small working groups, consisting of three to four states per team, to focus on analyzing, developing and implementing policy recommendations related to Employment First systems-change efforts for veterans with disabilities.  As a CORE state, department representatives will work with national experts to develop techniques for staff to improve employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.  The workgroups began their efforts in December 2017.

Missouri’s teams consist of staff members from DMH Divisions of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Social Services – MoHealthNet Division and Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Vocational Rehabilitation, and Department of Economic Development – Workforce Development.  The Harry S. Truman VA Hospital and the VA St. Louis Health Care System are also represented on the Vision Quest group.

The ODEP chose the following 18 states: 

Vision Quest States: Missouri (Mental Health and Employment); Georgia (Mental Health and Employment); Illinois (Mental Health and Employment); Louisiana(Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [WIOA] Implementation); Michigan (WIOA Implementation); Ohio (WIOA Implementation); Tennessee (Mental Health and Employment); and Utah (WIOA Implementation).  

Core States: Missouri (Capacity Building); Arkansas (Employer Engagement); District of Columbia (Capacity Building); Iowa (Capacity Building); Maryland (Capacity Building and Provider Transformation); Michigan (Capacity Building); Ohio (Capacity Building and Provider Transformation); Pennsylvania (Employer Engagement and Provider Transformation); Tennessee (Employer Engagement and Provider Transformation); and Utah (Capacity Building and Provider Transformation).