Youth Seeking Subminimum Wage Employment
The foundation of the VR program is the principle that individuals with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, are capable of achieving high quality CIE when provided the necessary services and supports. The passage of the WIOA ensures all individuals with disabilities are provided the necessary services and supports to achieve CIE. This is especially true for youth 24 years of age or younger, as the WIOA emphasizes that youth with disabilities have meaningful opportunities to receive the services they need to achieve employment outcomes in CIE.
The WIOA further reinforces the congressional intent that CIE is the preferred employment outcome by placing limitations on the use of SMW, especially for youth. The limitations include prescriptive timelines for the transmission of documentation from the school to the DOR. The DOR requires that any youth seeking SMW employment is provided mandatory services and documentation prior to working at SMW. Mandatory services include multiple opportunities to discuss and explore CIE in the community.