The Employment Assistance Referral Network (EARN) service is the newest project of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Created to increase the representation of people with disabilities in the workforce, EARN will "link employers with pre-screened vocational rehabilitation providers" that have candidates who meet an employer's "specified job requirements."
EARN is designed to assist employers in locating potential employees with disabilities in their own geographic area. An employer seeking to fill a specific position may contact EARN with the job specifications. EARN staff will then search a database of local employment providers who may have appropriate job candidates with disabilities and send that information back to the employer. The employer can then follow up directly with the service provider in order to connect with the applicants.
EARN also offers employers technical assistance. Any subject related to the employment of people with disabilities -- such as co-worker attitudes, tax credits, personal assistance services, disability laws, return-to-work strategies, job interviewing techniques, and recruitment and hiring strategies -- can be addressed by EARN staff.
A key component of EARN is the recently unveiled Web site www.EARNworks.com. Employers can go to the site to obtain information about Project EARN.
To contact EARN, call 1-866-327-6669, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST.