Dear DRS Community Partners:
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires state vocational rehabilitation agencies to reach out to individuals working under subminimum wage certificates and offer them the opportunity to pursue competitive integrated employment. The Division of Rehabilitation Services has begun an effort to engage approximately 14,000 individuals in Illinois currently working for subminimum wages. The U.S. Department of Labor has provided a list of over 150 employers with 14(c) subminimum wage certificates. DRS has surveyed those employers and received an estimate of the number of workers at each location.
Since DRS does not have a list of individual workers, we will be sending information packets to the employers and requesting that they provide a packet to each individual working for a subminimum wage. This packet of information includes a letter from DRS, as well as an informational flyer and a postage-paid post card. There are links to a web site and an e-mail address which offer these workers several options for responding to DRS.
DRS has adopted the slogan "Real Work for Real Pay" for this initiative, since that phrase captures the essence of the more formal term "competitive integrated employment" and is consistent with the spirit of the Illinois Employment First effort. It is our hope that many of the workers receiving this information will choose to contact DRS and participate in the VR program. DRS will do everything we can to assist those individuals in obtaining real work for real pay.
If your organization utilizes a Dept. of Labor certificate, I hope we can count on your cooperation in making the information packets available to your workers. Please be aware that individual workers have freedom of choice in this matter to refer themselves to DRS or not. We would appreciate receiving a response from each worker but understand that no one is compelled to respond.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Should you have any questions about this process, please contact the DRS WIOA liaison, Douglas Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please visit "Real Work for Real Pay" on the DHS/DRS website at http://drs.illinois.gov/realwork
Kris Smith, Director
Division of Rehabilitation Services