Feb. 26, 2015

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon), to provide work experience for high school students with disabilities, received unanimous support in the House Labor and Industry Committee today.

Following passage of House Bill 400, I was joined on the House floor by members of the “I Want to Work Campaign,” including Dr. Josie Barger, executive director, seated in front of me.  
Gingrich, who serves as chairman of the committee, welcomed several students with disabilities and members of the “I Want to Work Campaign,” a self-advocacy campaign that helps young people with disabilities get jobs and internships while in high school.

Under House Bill 400, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) would facilitate the process of job and career development between local education agencies and employers to ensure the successful transition of high school students with disabilities into competitive, integrated employment.

“This legislation provides a roadmap to help students with disabilities achieve the dignity of work,” said Gingrich. “Currently, services for these individuals end as they ‘age out’ of the education support systems, and these individuals often do not have the opportunity to become independent and productive taxpaying citizens.

“I have had the pleasure of meeting many students with disabilities from around the Commonwealth who have exhibited both the ability and desire to work,” said Gingrich. “These individuals are working to overcome physical and mental challenges. This legislation would ensure that, when appropriate, job skill training is included in the individual education plan of each high school student with disabilities.

House Bill 400 would require the OVR to prepare students with disabilities for internships, on-the-job training and full and part-time employment in an integrated work environment. It would also provide placement assistance and job coaching.

House Bill 400 now goes to the full House for consideration.
To see today’s Labor and Industry Committee meeting, visit RepGingrich.com.

Representative Mauree Gingrich
101st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Donna Pinkham