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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Coalition: Make NV an Employment First state again

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Tuesday, December 5, 2023   

A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor Department goal of meaningful employment, fair wages and career advancements for people with disabilities.

Forty states have Employment First efforts on the books, but Nevada isn't one of them.

Catherine Nielsen, executive director of the Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Nevada Employment First Task Force, said they've been having conversations with the governor's office and pushing for an executive order next year.

"Past the pandemic there were a lot of people out of work, and as we expressed, there is a lot of that untapped workforce being taken into consideration right now, that with this executive order we will be ensuring that we can 'put our money where our mouth is,'" she said.

Nielsen added former Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed an Executive Order during his term, but it wasn't continued by his successor, Democrat Steve Sisolak. She hopes Gov. Joe Lombardo will show his support with an Executive Order.

Skeptics of Employment First say while it's well-intentioned, the policies could have little impact on a segregated and entrenched vocational system.

Dawn Lyons, executive director of the Nevada Statewide Independent Living Council, said Nevada has what she calls a "notorious poor track record" when it comes to hiring and maintaining people with disabilities in employment. She's convinced it's important to make this a priority for the Silver State to educate employers and the disability community to combat misconceptions.

Lyons said many people with disabilities have shared their view that the standardized process of securing a job doesn't work for everyone.

"It's really just a matter of educating and letting employers know that if they can deviate from that process just a little bit, and give a person a chance with a disability, they might be very surprised at how well that would work out," she explained.

Lyons added that Nevadans with disabilities are capable of working and want to work, as staying unemployed or underemployed can doom many to a life of poverty. She is confident that Employment First can create more inclusion and equality for all. And the council is collecting data on employment experience.

Disclosure: Nevada Statewide Independent Living Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities, Poverty Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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