Minnesota Receives Federal Grant To Boost Job Opportunities For The Disabled

State officials hope the funding will help provide training and employment outreach to those with disability issues.

The state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that it would use a $2.5 million federal grant to improve employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities.
Along with five other states, Minnesota was chosen by the U.S. Department of Labor to receive part of a nearly $15 million grant. (The other states awarded funding are California, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts and Maryland.)
According to the Minnesota State Council on Disability, approximately one out of five Minnesotans are classified as disabled.
“Minnesota is forecasted to have a shortage of more than 100,000 workers by 2020,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith in a statement. “That means we can’t afford to waste any of our talent. This grant will help Minnesotans with disabilities get the training they need for good jobs in growing industries.”
DEED outlined a list of six principals it would refer to in the dispersal of its newly acquired funds:

  1. Improve employment outcomes and increase the number of individuals with disabilities who earn credentials.
  2. Provide more diversified job-driven training opportunities.
  3. Facilitate academic and employment transition among youth.
  4. Incorporate flexible approaches to designing and providing training and supportive services, including customized employment strategies to help job seekers with significant disabilities.
  5. Build effective community partnerships and collaborations across multiple service delivery systems and the effective blending and braiding of resources.
  6. Promote more active engagement with the business sector.

“Providing people with disabilities the opportunity to use their talents in a meaningful job is critical to the work we do,” DEED commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement. “This funding will not only help them find employment but also give them access to the high quality of life that can come with earning a paycheck.”