Ky. receives grant to help injured, ill employees

October 11, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has been awarded a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to help injured or ill employees remain in their job or return to work.

Kentucky is one of only eight states to receive a federal Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) demonstration grant to develop a pilot program, the OVR said in a press release.

Josh Benton, deputy secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, said the pilot program will focus on using early, coordinated health and employment services to prevent long-term unemployment due to injury or illness caused by events such as falls, lifts or strains.

He said research shows that there is a small window of opportunity to get or keep someone in the workforce.

Once that opportunity passes, the likelihood of an individual remaining employed is low.

In addition, the pilot will target workers who have a substance use disorder that exists or develops as a result of taking medication after an injury or illness.

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16 and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department of Workforce Investment. For more information about the programs, visit ewdc.ky.gov or kcc.ky.gov.

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