AN ACT TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE OFFICE OF STATE HUMAN RESOURCES, TO STUDY THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE THE EMPLOYMENT BY STATE AGENCIES OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, INCLUDING TARGETING EMPLOYMENT OF INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH COMMISSION COMMITTEE ON INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.
Requires the Department of Health and Human Services (Department) to consult with the Office of State Human Resources in studying the development and implementation of a comprehensive, statewide program that establishes the State as a model employer in the employment of individuals with disabilities. Sets out program goals. Requires the Department to solicit the input of key stakeholders, including other relevant State agencies and organizations. Requires examining programs in other states and considering the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive program in North Carolina that contains at least one or more of the following components, including expanding on existing programs: (1) targeting hiring efforts through the Office of State Human Resources, including fast-track hiring policies that augment or streamline existing agency practices, trial work periods before offering permanent employment, preemployment certification through the Department for State employment, State agency internships, specific eligibility lists for hiring managers, and mandatory interview opportunities; (2) focusing on recruitment and outreach efforts to identify and attract skilled individuals with disabilities for State employment; (3) enhancing accessibility to State employment applications and the steps in the hiring process; (4) developing explicit, reasonable workplace accommodation guidelines that include managing costs and providing a request process that encourages individuals with disabilities to apply for State employment; (5) building upon existing State personnel training programs to encourage inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workplace; (6) enabling data collection for evaluation and oversight of the State's employment practices for hiring individuals with disabilities; (7) increasing partnerships to develop work-based opportunities leading to State employment. Requires a report by December 1, 2021, to the specified NCGA committee on the study.