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Purpose of this Initiative

The Employment First Position Paper represents a statewide initiative to promote the values and principles of Employment First which is

 a declaration of both philosophy and practice- this is North Carolina's vision:


“Employment in the general workforce is the first and preferred outcome in the provision of publicly funded services for all citizens with disabilities regardless of level of disability, in a job of their choosing with supports and accommodations provided as necessary to achieve and maintain employment.”





*****READ the draft Resolution Statement here*****






What is Employment First?


Employment First is an “umbrella” term where states and programs align to emphasize the importance of employment services focusing on “ability” versus “disability.” It does not mean that employment is the only outcome for all; rather, that employment is the expectation, not the exception.

Some of the goals and guiding principles of Employment First include:

  • Cross-disability effort

  • Integrated Employment

  • Individual choices

  • Appropriate accommodations and supports

  • Resources for youth in transition

  • Resources for self-employment

  • Employer education and awareness

  • Employment-enhancing education and career advancement

  • Asset development and overcoming poverty


How can you help?

Awareness Campaign: Distribute the paper- and share this webpage and Facebook page- to friends, families, coworkers, North Carolina state government agencies, school systems, councils, legislators, advocacy groups, committees, peer supporters, self-advocates, Local Managing Entities/Managed Care Organizations, community rehabilitation programs/employment service providers, behavioral health service providers, business networks/employers, and any other group that has a stake in the employment services continuum.

Endorsement: If your organization supports the values and principles of Employment First and wishes to endorse this document, email us at: employmentfirstNC@gmail.com 

Provide a contact name, title, organization, phone number and email address. Your organization’s name will be added to our endorsement list at the end of this paper. As we move forward, we will also be seeking assistance for the implementation process.