Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota state jobs program for people with disabilities fails to live up to promise


January 28, 2020


Bradford Teslow, who has intellectual disabilities, was hired through the Connect 700 program for a job in state government, but says his multiple requests for accommodations for his disabilities were ignored. He was ultimately fired and says he was "set up to fail."

A state hiring program designed to reverse Minnesota's historically low rate of employment of people with disabilities in state government has fallen short of expectations amid reports of mismanagement and lack of coordination between agencies.

In October 2016, then-Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled Connect 700, a program that was hailed as an innovative way to give individuals with disabilities a greater role in state government by granting them early preference during the hiring process for hundreds of state jobs. The program enabled people to skip the normal, competitive interviewing process, provided they meet the minimum job requirements and could demonstrate their ability to perform the tasks by working up to 700 hours on the job.


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