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Alaska Work Matters

Alaska Work Matters Task Force: Final Report

In early 2021, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy initiated the formation of the Alaska Work Matters Task Force under the umbrella of the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education (GCDSE) and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (Mental Health Trust). The directors of the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the GCDSE were named as chair and co-chair, and 22 additional individuals representing state agencies and boards, Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation, Mental Health Trust beneficiaries, employers, and educators were selected to participate.

The purpose of the Task Force was to review and analyze existing policies, practices, and procedures, barriers, and workforce utilization data regarding the employment of people with disabilities in the State of Alaska, and prepare a report that includes recommendations that should be adopted by the Governor and applicable departments, agencies, and commissions of the executive branch, and policy options for consideration by the legislative branch to expand and improve employment opportunities and outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Twenty-two recommendations and sixty-eight action steps were identified by the Task Force and are described in detail in the full report.

The Governor may want to consider assigning responsibility to the Directors of DVR and GCDSE to establish an ad hoc working group including representatives from relevant beneficiary boards in order to coordinate activities and assess progress with respect to implementation of recommendations included in this report.

The Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Director Duane Mayes & the Alaska Department of Health, Governors Council on Disabilities & Special Education Executive Director Patrick Reinhart would like to thank Governor Dunleavy for his support of the Alaska Work Matters Task Force. The power and value of work must be our number one priority for all Alaskans to include people with disabilities. We believe the recommendations below will move us in that direction and further support the State of Alaska as a model employer and a employment first state for Alaskans with disabilities. 


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