An Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses

November 1, 2019

ACL Announces $380,000 Prize Competition for Hiring Models that Improve Recruitment and Retention of Workers with Disabilities

Woman using crutches standing next to man using wheelchairPeople with intellectual and developmental disabilities meeting at workMan signing at work

“With these cash awards, ACL is helping foster public-private partnerships to create new talent pipeline models that will benefit both workers with disabilities and employers.” – Lance Robertson, ACL Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging

ACL will make up to nine awards, ranging from $20,000 to $100,000, to American businesses interested in developing rapid innovation and adoption of models that help businesses improve performance by recruiting and retaining workers with disabilities, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Why Take the Challenge?

Man with Down Syndrome at workMany American businesses have learned that a diversified workplace results in higher employee morale and is good for the bottom line. In fact, firms that employ and support workers with disabilities have been shown to have 28% higher revenue and 30% higher profit margins than businesses that don’t promote disability employment.

Beyond employee satisfaction and profits, most businesses want to demonstrate to their staff, investors and customers that they are serious about their commitment to inclusive hiring. What better way to demonstrate that commitment than by partnering with ACL on the Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses challenge?

How to Participate

This challenge is designed to motivate businesses to create model programs that advance employment recruitment, training, and retention for Americans with disabilities. The first step in the challenge is writing a proposal that describes your innovative and practical approach. Full details of the challenge can be viewed here.

The first phase of the challenge is development and submission of a proposal that explains how your business will creatively establish a talent pipeline that will help you employ workers with disabilities, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ACL wants you to think outside the box by proposing approaches that will take your business into the community to connect with workers with disabilities who desire to share their talents, problem-solving skills, persistence, forethought and eagerness to learn. Through those connections, your model should explain how your business will establish a talent pipeline that can lead to employment.


Proposals will be accepted beginning November 22, 2019

Proposals must be submitted by February 14, 2020.

An Example

Man using wheelchair using assistive technology at workTechnology firms have worked in a number of ways to establish talent pipelines for workers with disabilities. One company is now partnering to bring qualified candidates into the workplace for a week-long academy of training that involves technical exercises. This simple model is helping the company establish a talent pipeline that can result in the hiring of workers with disabilities.

How to Submit a Proposal

To submit a proposal, visit the Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses challenge website here.


If you have questions or want to learn more about the challenge, please contact Teresa Nguyen at

Man with limb loss at work

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Last modified on 11/06/2019

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