Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program

October 4, 2017

FY 2018 Application Portal Open; Application Deadline is October 13

The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recognizes that many states desire to align their efforts to support individuals with disabilities toward an Employment First approach, but may not yet possess the capacity, experience, or technical resources necessary to lead and facilitate such change. To address this need, ODEP initiated the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), a cross-disability, cross-systems change initiative. 
The purpose of this notice is to help ODEP’s EFSLMP Initiative continue building on lessons learned from the evaluation of the current demonstration by providing training and technical (T/TA) support for at least 10 core states, and at least 10 Vision Quest Policy Working Group states, implementing the reforms in policy and practice necessary to realize the sustainable integration of Employment First principles into service delivery systems and practices. Please review and download the thematic areas for Core State and Vision Quest (VQ) technical assistance.

Application Process

States will have the option to apply for either Core State T/TA, VQ, or both. In order to apply for core state funding, there must be buy-in from the following six agencies:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

  • Mental Health

  • Workforce Investment

  • Education

  • Medicaid

States without commitments from all six agencies will not be eligible to apply to be a Core State. However, states who choose VQ technical assistance are not required to have buy-in from all agencies, but will be required to have commitments from at least two or more agencies. Successful participation in the EFSLMP is directly linked to the decision-making authority of the state government officials involved in EFSLMP. That means States must include at least one key political leader/decision-maker from a minimum of six state agencies in the Core State Advisory Team in the Core State part of the application. States are required to assure that both key decision-makers and policy/programmatic experts are engaged and committed to the State’s proposal for FY 2018.

Important Key Dates

  • Friday, October 13, 2017, 11:59 p.m. ET: Submission deadline via EconSys Web Portal (portal access info listed below).

  • Friday, October 27, 2017: Notification of selected states.

  • Friday, November 3, 2017: Confirmation letter due to EconSys accepting ODEP’s invitation as an EFSLMP Core State and/or VQ State. 

 EconSys' Application Portal

  • If you do not currently have an account for EconSys' Online Tool, sign up here.  

  • FY 2017 EFSLMP State Coordinators can log in with their current user name and password here. They will not need to create new accounts.

  • We will only accept one application from each state. If more than one person signs up for the online tool from the same state, they all will have access to the same FY 2018 application. However, it’s important that states agencies work together and nominate only one person to submit the application. 

The EFSLMP Application Q & A Session and Portal Demonstration is available here.


Last modified on 05/07/2020

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