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Dec. 12, 2018
CSG Launches Stay-At-Work/Return-to Work Toolkit
COVINGTON, Ky.—The Council of State Governments launched a new tool to assist state officials in ensuring workers can remain in the workforce following injury or illness as part of its continued collaboration with the State Exchange on Employment and Disability, or SEED, an initiative led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The CSG Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Toolkit was released on Dec. 7 during the CSG 2018 National Conference in Northern Kentucky-Greater Cincinnati.
The toolkit is a resource designed to help states ensure their policies facilitate employment retention and labor force participation of individuals who acquire and/or are at risk of developing work disabilities, whether on or off the job.
“We are pleased to share this toolkit with our CSG membership representing all areas of state government, private employers and all other interested parties,” said Elizabeth Whitehouse, director of the CSG Center of Innovation. “We look forward to assisting states in assessing and implementing our recommended stay-at-work and return-to-work strategies and policies in a way that best suits each state’s unique employment and disability landscape.”
This resource was developed with input from CSG’s SAW/RTW Leadership Team, a convening of more than 20 state government leaders, subject matter experts, and local government representatives from across eight states. Designed for state policymakers, it identifies challenges, actionable policy options, best practices and implementation strategies to facilitate positive SAW/RTW outcomes at the state level. It also highlights a number of states that have implemented highly effective SAW/RTW policies as models for other states. 
“America’s workforce is strengthened when everyone can participate,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy. “The CSG Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Toolkit will help state policymakers understand how to ensure workers can access the services they need to keep working in the face of illness or injury.”
The toolkit is an outgrowth of the Work Matters Report, a framework for states on workforce development for people with disabilities. Published in 2016, this report was a result of the National Taskforce on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities—a SEED collaboration convened by CSG and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Focused on state policy options for increasing employment for people with disabilities, that report identified SAW/RTW as a priority policy area.       
The Stay-at-Work/ Return-to-Work Toolkit can be found at https://www.csg.org/seed_report.pdf
About The Council of State Governments
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.
For more information about The Council of State Governments, visit csg.org.