CHEYENNE– The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services’ (DWS) Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (WY DVR) has been awarded a $10,000,000 Disability Innovation Fund grant through the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

The grant will fund the Wyoming Pathways to Partnership project (WY P2P) to improve systems, services, and outcomes for children and youth with disabilities living in Wyoming. It will use Competitive Integrated Employment to improve mental health and economic outcomes for this underserved population. 

“This grant will empower us to pioneer innovative solutions that enhance vocational opportunities and support for youth with disabilities and unlock career success for those individuals, ensuring a more inclusive and equitable workforce for our communities,” says Robin Sessions Cooley, Director of the Department of Workforce Services. 

“Wyoming Pathways to Partnership will expand access to mental health services for individuals with disabilities, increase knowledge of the link between mental health and employment, better equip individuals to care for their mental health, fill resource gaps, and provide important career and life skills,” says Nicky Harper, Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator. “This project will be a model for expanding rural mental health treatment access, creating rural collaborative systems to serve individuals, and improving economic outcomes for rural youth with disabilities and Wyoming generally.” 

WY DVR will accomplish these goals and objectives through collaborative partnerships with the Wyoming Department of Education, Campbell County School District #1, Park County School District #1, and centers for independent living across Wyoming to execute the project design and services. “We look forward to collaborating with the state and local education agencies and the independent living centers in Wyoming,” Harper said.