Local and National Partnership Expands Economic Opportunities for Louisville's Disabled Community

September 17, 2015

Local and National Partnership Expands Economic Opportunities for Louisville's Disabled Community

Convening on September 18 calls on partners to share lessons learned, plan next steps

After nearly a year-and-half of collaborating to improve employment and advancement opportunities for people with disabilities in Louisville, partner organizations will reconvene to evaluate progress and plan next steps.   The event will take place on September 18 at the Charles W. McDowell Center, 8412 Westport Rd., from 9 – 11 a.m. bringing together disability advocates and representatives from the employment, financial services, workforce and asset development communities.

Coined the “Workforce Development/Financial Empowerment Collaborative (WD/FE),” this unique partnership was formed following Louisville’s Economic Advancement Assembly in May 2014. Sponsored by National Disability Institute’s (NDI) LEAD Center, with the support of Louisville Metro Community Services and Bank On Louisville, the Assembly focused on identifying and advancing opportunities to improve the financial capability of Kentuckians with disabilities. Bolstered with the knowledge that one in three Americans with disabilities live in poverty, attendees saw firsthand the critical need to continue working together to increase our community's awareness for greater access and coordination of services.


At the September 18 event, time will be spent reviewing tools, and resources developed to date which include:

Presenters at the event include Katina Whitlock, Director of Louisville Metro Community Services; Michael Morris, Executive Director of National Disability Institute; and Angelisa Harris, Regional Manager, Community Affairs, for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Chicago Regional Office. Presenters will discuss efforts underway locally and nationally to integrate financial empowerment strategies into the workforce development system, and look to the future on ways of improving employment goals and financial behaviors for individuals with disabilities. 

“Community Services is proud to work with so many outstanding partners through this collaborative – and grateful for NDI’s support – to help educate and prepare our residents in building and securing brighter economic futures,” said Tina Lentz, Executive Administrator of Community Services’ Advocacy and Empowerment Division and chair of the Workforce Development/Financial Empowerment Collaborative. “Together we have opened doors to ensure everyone can take concrete steps toward financial independence.”

Along with Community Services, collaborative members include the Center for Accessible Living, Goodwill Industries, Jewish Family & Career Services, KentuckianaWorks, Kentucky Office for the Blind, Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehab, Community Services' Office for Aging and Disabled Citizens, Options Unlimited, ResCare, and the Zoom Group.

For more information, visit the Workforce Development/Financial Empowerment Collaborative webpage at: http://louisvilleky.gov/government/community-services/workforce-development-financial-empowerment-collaborative. If your organization could benefit from having copies of the resource guides listed above, contact Breanne Nugent with Community Services at: [email protected].


Support for this convening is provided by the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD), a collaborative of disability, workforce and economic empowerment organizations led by National Disability Institute with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Grant No. #OD-23863-12-75-4-11. The information shared at this event does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.