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Posted on: October 1, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Kansas Agencies with $1.88 Million Grant

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TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Commerce, in partnership with Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Susan B. Allen Hospital System in Butler County, has been awarded nearly $1.88 Million for a Phase I planning grant from the US Department of Labor.  

The RETAIN —Retaining Employment and Talent after Injury/Illness Network— grant will test the impact of early intervention strategies that improve stay-at-work/return-to-work (SAW/RTW) outcomes of individuals who experience work disability while employed. 

Central to the project is the early coordination of health care and employment-related supports and services to help injured or ill workers remain in the workforce. These supports and services include: 

•    Training in occupational health best practices for participating health care providers;

•    Active involvement of a Return-to-Work Coordinator throughout the medical recovery period to facilitate continued employment;

•    Enhanced communication among workers, employers, and health care providers;

•    Accommodations and job modifications; and 

•    Retraining and rehabilitation services. 

The primary goals of the RETAIN Demonstration Project is to increase employment retention and labor force participation of individuals who acquire, and/or are at risk of developing, work disabilities, and to reduce long-term work disability among project participants, including the need for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.

Successful RETAIN Demonstration Projects will span a total of five years and be funded in two phases. Phase 1 is 18 months and includes planning and start-up activities, including the launch of a small pilot demonstration within nine months of award.

At the end of Phase 1, the Kansas Department of Commerce will compete for up to $19,750,000 to fully implement Phase 2. Phase 2 will span 42 months, including 30 months for project implementation and 12 months for close-out and final assessment activities.

For additional information, contact the RETAIN Kansas project lead Dale Tower at

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