Employment and Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Resources
Texas’ Employment First Policy It is the policy of the state that earning a living wage through competitive employment in the general workforce is the priority and provided outcome for working-age individuals with disabilities who receive public benefits.
Government Code Sec. 521.0244
In accordance with Texas Government Code §531 .02447(b), TEA's employment-first policy is based on the following guiding principles:
(1) An individual with a disability is able to meet the same employment standards as an individual who does not have a disability.
(2) All working-age individuals with disabilities, including young adults, must be offered factual information regarding employment as an individual with a disability, including the relationship between an individual's earned income and the individual's public benefits.
(3) Individuals with disabilities must be given the opportunity to understand and explore options for education or training, including postsecondary, graduate, and postgraduate education, vocational or technical training, or other training, as pathways to employment.
(4) TEA must take steps to promote the availability and accessibility of individualized training designed to prepare an individual with a disability for the individual's preferred employment.
(5) TEA must take steps to promote partnerships with employers to overcome barriers to meeting workforce needs with the creative use of technology and innovation.
(6) The staff of public schools, vocational service programs, and community providers must be trained and supported to assist in achieving the goal of competitive employment for all individuals with disabilities.
(7) Competitive employment, while being the priority and preferred outcome, is not required of an individual with a disability to secure or maintain public benefits for which the individual is otherwise eligible.
For more resources, visit:
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission Employment First webpage
- Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities: Employment First, Increase Competitive Integrated Employment
Effective September 1, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The MOU is to promote collaboration in the delivery of transition services, including pre-employment transition services, for students with disabilities transitioning from secondary education to employment and independent living mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), as amended, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
The implementing regulations for both WIOA and IDEA require the formalization of interagency agreements concerning the transition services for students with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The MOU will help improve the dissemination of information about TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services and specify the process TEA and TWC will use to develop and update the mechanism used to target students.