Keeley Joins National Effort to Help Individuals with Disabilities Enter Workforce


Rep. Helene Keeley has been selected to serve on a task force subcommittee created by The Council of State Governments to help state policymakers remove employment barriers for people with disabilities.

CSG, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures, organized the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities to help state leaders identify barriers to employment at the state level and provide them with policy recommendations to address those barriers.

“Across the country, we have a whole swath of citizens who want to contribute to their communities and support themselves and their families regardless of the challenges their disabilities may present,” said Rep. Keeley, D-Wilmington South. “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to help generate new ideas that will get more people with disabilities closer to their employment goals.”

The effort is funded by the State Exchange on Employment and Disability, or SEED, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

The National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities consists of four subcommittees: Career Readiness and Employability; Hiring; Retention and Re-entry; Entrepreneurship and Tax Incentives; and Technology, Transportation and Other Employment Supports.

Rep. Keeley serves on the Entrepreneurship and Tax Incentives subcommittee.

The task force convened March 19-20 in Chicago and will meet in Washington D.C. later this spring. The policy recommendations will be unveiled during the 2016 CSG National Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., Dec. 8-11.  

The 2016 CSG president and chair—Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Nebraska Sen. Beau McCoy, respectively—serve as co-chairs of the national task force.

About 54 million Americans live with a disability. But the majority of adults with disabilities are either unemployed or underemployed despite their ability, desire and willingness to work and contribute to the economy.

“This population has much to contribute in the workplace and in their communities,” said Elizabeth Whitehouse, the CSG director of education and workforce development. “The task force provides an opportunity for states to learn from each other and see the exciting and innovative policies and programs that make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.” 

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that serves all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.