The Labor Department is looking for self-advocates, service providers and other stakeholders to tap for a new advisory committee focused on increasing competitive employment among those with disabilities. (Chuck Myers/MCT)

The Labor Department is looking for self-advocates, service providers and other stakeholders to tap for a new advisory committee focused on increasing competitive employment among those with disabilities. (Chuck Myers/MCT)

A new advisory committee is in the works that will be tasked with helping government officials improve job prospects for people with developmental disabilities across the country.

The U.S. Department of Labor is soliciting nominations for individuals to serve on the panel known as the National Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.

Established under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in July, the committee will make recommendations to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

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The group will focus on ways to enhance competitive, integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual, developmental and other significant disabilities, the agency said.

The panel will also be asked to weigh in on oversight and implementation of an existing program that allows employers granted special Labor Department certificates to pay workers with disabilities less than minimum wage.

“Individuals with disabilities can make significant contributions to our workplaces,” Perez said. “This advisory committee will help American Job Centers, Workforce Development Boards and vocational rehabilitation agencies nationwide work collaboratively to promote employment opportunities for this pool of talented workers.”

Beyond establishing the panel, the new workforce law makes significant changes to the transition from school to work for students with disabilities and limits who is eligible to work for less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Nominations for the advisory committee, which will include leaders from various government agencies as well as members of the public, are being accepted through Oct. 14.