Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury or Illness Network (RETAIN)

Man returning to office

One person's injury or illness can affect a community at all levels:

  • For employees, it can significantly impact their ability to obtain or maintain employment.
  • For businesses, it cuts into business productivity and investments.
  • For agencies, it decreases overall state economic activity.

Keeping injured and ill workers on the job or getting them safely back into the workforce as soon as they’re able has proven benefits. This project helps achieve that goal.

- Lori Collins, Project Director

The Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury or Illness Network (RETAIN) project aims to increase employment retention and labor force participation of individuals who acquire, and/or are at risk of developing, disabilities that inhibit their ability to work. Often referred to as stay-at-work/return-to-work strategies, the RETAIN project focuses on building state capacity to improve outcomes for individuals who experience a disability while employed. It also aims to reduce long-term work absences among project participants.

RETAIN is a joint initiative of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Employment and Training Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration.

AIR is the programmatic technical assistance provider for the RETAIN initiative. In that role, our experts provide ongoing technical assistance support to states that have received ODEP funding to develop state-level interagency teams developing models to promote employees’ ability to stay at or return to work after injury or illness. These demonstration projects are active in Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Vermont. AIR staff provide subject matter expertise, interactive engagement, shared learning, and knowledge building tools and resources.

For additional information about RETAIN TA, contact