Last year, Governor John Kasich signed into law the Employment First Initiative. The legislation directed government agencies serving the developmentally disabled to combine resources and provide them with more employment opportunities.
This year, all 88 Ohio counties to land one of six opportunities to get Employment First off the ground. Clark County was granted one of those slots. Superintendent of Clark County's Developmental Disabilities Board, Jennifer Rousculp, believes Employment First will help the board step up more of what they're doing.
"Our mission is to assist people with developmental disabilities to work and to play and to live in their community. And we've done a pretty good job on the being in the community and for them to be living there. Now we need to work on the work part," Rousculp says.
Kevin Miller is the director for Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. He believes that Springfield was an excellent choice to help launch Employment First.
"But I think the reason why Clark County and the five other sites were selected is that the leadership and the attitude of saying we understand that this is the way the law is, but more than that we believe we can make this work," Miller says.
Employment First has a $1 million proposed biennial budget in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 that will help county boards find jobs for disabled people.