Upcoming webinar on WIOA Title I for VR Professionals: Shared Goals and Potentials for Partnership

Two Youth at Computer

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

This webinar is designed to help vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals gain a full understanding of Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), with an emphasis on portions relating to youth activities. After an introduction to WIOA and the WIOA Title I Youth (WIOA Youth) program, facilitators will describe ways the WIOA Youth program can assist the VR system achieve employment outcomes. In addition, participants will hear directly from a state that has demonstrated success in facilitating partnerships between VR and WIOA Title I programs.

Register here

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Learn how to leverage WIOA programs to benefit youth with disabilities;
  2. Identify methods of tapping into WIOA Youth resources to serve youth with disabilities; and
  3. Explore how to connect youth with disabilities to services provided under Title I—Workforce.


Thomas Showalter is an expert on education, workforce policy and related areas (disability, juvenile justice, and antipoverty programs), as well as Congressional politics and processes. As the executive director of the National Youth Employment Coalition, Thomas sets the organization’s direction and strategy, builds the capacity of NYEC members, and advocates for the interests of opportunity youth. Before coming to NYEC, Thomas advised advocacy organizations and foundations on communications and strategic planning at The Hatcher Group. He also spent almost five years on the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, working for Chairmen Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA). With the committee, he contributed to the passage of several pieces of legislation, including the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and was a negotiator on proposed reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Workforce Investment Act.

Kate O’Sullivan is an independent consultant who helps organizations develop, deliver, support, assess, and improve workforce development programs. She has over 20 years of experience in connecting youth and adults to employment and education. Her clients have included private funders, public agencies, researchers, and national and local networks. Currently she serves as a senior advisor to the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC). She supports Y-TAC in helping VR professionals partner with workforce agencies and enhance skills for serving youth. She also works with the Greater Washington Community Foundation, assisting organizations as they develop sectoral workforce development partnerships with employers.

Alyssa Klein,MS, CRC, is a Transition Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). She has worked for Minnesota’s Vocational Rehabilitation program for over 21 years. She began her tenure as a VR counselor serving both youth and adults with disabilities and currently serves as the statewide youth transition specialist. Her primary interest is to see that all youth have the information, opportunities and supports needed to explore, prepare for and be successful in careers.

Michelle Ufford, is the Executive Director of the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training (NEMOJT), based in rural northern Minnesota. Ms. Ufford started with NEMOJT as a Career Counselor in 1999 and has led the organization for nearly 12 years. NEMOJT is the regional administrator of WIOA Title I funds serving adults and youth and has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Minnesota’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Currently, NEMOJT is the local service provider of Minnesota’s Pre-Employment and Transition Services to help students with disabilities reach their career potential.

Kim Osmani, is a Technical Assistance Liaison for the Y-TAC through her role as an Extension Associate at Cornell University. Kim has extensive experience in working with youth with disabilities–first as a special education teacher for 10 years, then as an Associate State Director of Special Education Services at the Oklahoma State Department of Education, and finally as the Statewide Transition Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. She holds two master’s degrees—in special education and educational administration, and is currently working toward her doctorate in special education–transition. Kim Chairs the Oklahoma Transition Council, is Secretary for Oklahoma’s Chapter of the Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT), is Chair of the CEC-DCDT Policy and Advocacy Committee, and is Past President of the National Rehabilitation Association Transition Specialties Division.