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Press Release: ICI Wins New Research Grant

Vocational Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VR-RRTC) On Demand-Side Strategies

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Originally published: 12/2012


The Institute for Community Inclusion is proud to announce a new grant-funded project: the Vocational Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VR-RRTC) On Demand-Side Strategies. The project is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The ICI's project partners are the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation, the Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the New England Council (NEC).

The ICI and our partners will carry out three major research studies about improving vocational rehabilitation (VR) responsiveness to employer needs. These studies will examine integrating labor market and business relations information into business intelligence efforts in Alabama, aligning job training with industry needs to ameliorate middle skill labor shortages in Nebraska, and testing a model of dual customer job placement services created in Vermont.

Project partners will work with the NEC, an association of more than 400 businesses, to identify VR responses to business problems. We will examine the role of VR in retention of older workers, hiring processes for young workers, and supporting remote workers. Over the five-year project, the ICI will conduct research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities that will support the work of the three major studies.

This new project is a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC). RRTCs are funded through the US Department of Education's Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers. They are charged with improving the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.

The new RRTC will build upon research findings of the ICI's current NIDRR-funded VR-RRTC, RSA-funded Substantial Gainful Activity project, and NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center on VR Program Management. The project team will be led by ICI Senior Research Fellow Dr. Susan Foley and Knowledge Translation Program Director Julisa Cully, M.Ed.