Maine Department of Labor Launches Data Dashboard on Maine Workers with Disabilities Bookmark and Share

April 10, 2014

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Provides state-specific information on employment

AUGUSTA—The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and Center for Workforce Research and Information have launched a new webpage, Maine Workers with Disabilities. The webpage, found at http://maine.gov/labor/cwri/disabilities/ , updates the data contained in the report, "Snapshot 2012: Maine Workers with Disabilities."

“Workers with disabilities play an important role in our workforce,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We are working collaboratively across the departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services to provide an employment-first approach. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to work has access to the assistance and training that will help them find work. This data will help our efforts be more effective and ensure that Mainers are afforded the benefits a job provides—not just the financial benefits, but the improved self-esteem and ties to the community that make work rewarding both personally and professionally.”

In this electronic format, Maine Workers with Disabilities is the latest in a series of annual publications summarizing basic facts about employment status and services for people with disabilities in Maine.

The annual Snapshots and the Maine Workers with Disabilities webpage were developed in response to concerns from Maine’s disability community about a lack of state-specific information. Maine Workers with Disabilities presents information collected by agencies serving people in Maine and from improved national surveys such as the American Community Survey (ACS), which has been expanded and revised in recent years to more accurately capture information for individual states.

Wherever possible, statistics describing Maine workers are compared to those for the United States as a whole, providing context and meaning to a diverse set of descriptors. New this year, a breakout by gender is provided for many metrics.

Maine Workers with Disabilities provides multiple views of a population that different data sources define and measure in different ways. Since each source has a distinct constituency, target population and methodology, the data produced is not necessarily comparable. The intent of Maine Workers with Disabilities is to describe rather than explain. Its intended audience includes people with disabilities, advocates, policymakers, employers and other stakeholders.

In 2013, Maine’s vocational rehabilitation program assisted 921 individuals with disabilities find employment, resulting in combined wages of $17,927,412. Maine residents with disabilities considering employment options are encouraged to access Maine’s network of CareerCenters (then give contact info) as well as the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services at (207) 623-6799 (TTY users please use Maine Relay 711) for information about vocational rehabilitation services.

In general, people are eligible for services if they have a significant impairment that impedes their ability to work, and if they require vocational rehabilitation services to attain or maintain employment. Additional information for job seekers with disabilities can also be found by visiting: http://www.employmentforme.org/

CWRI develops and disseminates information on employment, unemployment and wages; analyzes outcomes of education and training programs to guide decision-making; and develops industry and occupational employment forecasts designed to guide career planning and curriculum development. They work with a wide range of customers to provide context to the dynamics of the economy and the implications those have for workforce development. CWRI publishes a variety of data on Maine’s economy, workforce and demographics at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri .

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