WIOA, Competitive Integrated Employment, and VR Funding

Request for DORS Review of AbilityOne/Maryland Employment Works/CRP Position for Consideration as Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE)




The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), places extensive emphasis on the achievement of competitive integrated employment (CIE) for job seekers with disabilities. Per WIOA regulations, DORS resources may be used to assist consumers to achieve and maintain CIE outcomes, and a DORS successful closure outcome must meet the following three criteria to be considered CIE:

  1. Competitive wages
  2. Integrated location
  3. Opportunities for advancement

A position which fails to satisfy any one of these three CIE criteria would not meet the definition of competitive integrated employment and an eligible individual's achievement of employment in that position would not qualify as a successful outcome under the VR program. For instance, sheltered workshops do not qualify as CIE, because they do not meet the “integrated” criteria. Other positions with a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) as the employer of record, including but not limited to those available through the federal AbilityOne (JWOD) and Maryland Employment Works programs, may or may not qualify as CIE, depending on the job characteristics.

CRPs interested in DORS assistance to fill vacant positions must request a review of that position by DORS to determine if it meets the criteria for CIE, and provide the position description, including the essential functions and qualifications.  To make this determination, designated DORS staff will review the request and related documentation, and will then schedule an on-site visit, when needed. The determination for each review requested will be posted for reference on the CIE Review List.

Why is this review necessary?

It is the responsibility of the DORS counselor and job developers to verify that a position qualifies as CIE prior to using DORS resources to assist an eligible individual to achieve or maintain employment in that position.  If an individual expresses interest in employment with a CRP, then the DORS counselor and the job developer must first determine whether the position is listed on the CIE Review List as reviewed and qualified as CIE.

If a position is listed as reviewed and found not to be CIE, then DORS funding may not be used to assist an individual to secure or maintain that position. However, if an eligible individual is still interested in that position and provides written consent, then the DORS counselor may refer the individual to the employer and may provide the employer a copy of the individual's DORS eligibility determination letter. If additional documentation is required for the consumer to obtain that position, the employer may request that documentation from the individual directly.

How does the employer of record request a review?

  1. Refer to the CIE Review List to determine whether the position at its work location has already been reviewed.
  2. If not, then an employee of the business authorized to represent the business (preferably a hiring manager familiar with the position) must complete the CIE Review Request Form​ online, attach the position description, respond to several questions regarding the position, sign to certify these responses, and then "Submit" the request.
  3. DORS staff will review the request and related documentation to determine whether an onsite visit will be required prior to determining whether the position qualifies as CIE, and will contact you within seven business days.

CIE Questions?​

Wanda Peele

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