New Products Released: Advancing New Jersey’s Employment First Practices and Policies
The Heldrich Center is pleased to share the results of an evaluation of New Jersey’s Employment First policies and practices.
In 2012, New Jersey became an Employment First state to “proactively promote competitive employment in the general workforce for people with any type of disability.” New Jersey is currently one of 39 states with an Employment First policy. In spite of this policy shift toward Employment First, the mainstream labor force participation rate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Jersey has not significantly increased and continues to lag behind national trends. To address this issue, in March 2021, the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities contracted with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development to evaluate New Jersey’s Employment First policies and practices, and to develop recommendations and an advocacy plan to increase meaningful competitive employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Jersey. This work was done in partnership with the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.