Millions of dollars are up for grabs designed to help states improve services for people with disabilities seeking work.

The U.S. Department of Labor said it is making $15.6 million available to states to increase participation by those with disabilities in education and training programs to prepare them for employment.

The funding will be distributed as eight grants ranging from $1.5 to $2.5 million apiece, the agency said.

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At least one project will be selected focusing on each of three demographic groups — individuals ages 14 and up with significant disabilities, young people with disabilities ages 14 to 24 and adults with disabilities ages 18 and over.

“People with disabilities have tremendous talents and ideas to contribute to our workplaces, our communities and our nation’s economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. “The funding … will help to prepare these workers for good jobs and build strong ladders of opportunity to the middle-class.”

The grants are the latest in a series of federal funding opportunities in recent years aimed at growing employment among people with disabilities. Since 2010, the Labor Department said it has doled out more than $109 million to 43 state workforce agencies in 27 states in an effort to improve employment outcomes for this population.

State workforce agencies have until Aug. 1 to apply for the funding.

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