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

Grants support higher pay for people with disabilities

$10.5 million to go toward competitive wages, employment services


September 19, 2022

Minnesotans with disabilities will soon have more opportunities to earn competitive wages and support their own independence.

A new round of state grants totaling $10.5 million will help providers make changes such as eliminating subminimum wages and expanding services to support people with disabilities in competitive employment. The Legislature and Governor Tim Walz approved the funding in 2021.

Provider Reinvention Grants from the Minnesota Department of Human Services will go to 22 employment services providers. The University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration will also receive funding to provide statewide technical assistance, engaging with job seekers and their families, and helping providers with training and toolkits.

“Many people with disabilities want to be part of the general workforce, but have not had the opportunity,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Working-age Minnesotans with disabilities should have the chance to work and earn a competitive wage if they want to.”

Eight employment service providers will receive grants to phase out subminimum wages by April 1, 2024:

• Floodwood Services & Training, Floodwood

• Pine Habilitation and Supported Employment (PHASE), Sandstone

• Hope Haven, Rock Valley, Iowa, for an employment center in Worthington

• Rise, Spring Lake Park

• The Rising Phoenix, Wadena

• TSE Inc., Roseville

• Advance Opportunities, Marshall

• Employment Enterprises, Little Falls

Fourteen employment service providers will receive funding to support more people in reaching employment goals:

• Accord, St. Paul

• Arrowhead Community Employment, Duluth

• Empower Inclusion, Excelsior

• Kaposia, Little Canada

• Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, St. Paul

• MRCI, Mankato

• Midwest Special Services Inc., St. Paul

• NorthStar Community Services, Cloquet

• Productive Alternatives, Fergus Falls

• Reach for Resources, Minnetonka

• REM Heartland, Mankato

• Residential Services of NE MN, Duluth

• Trillium Works, Duluth

• Udac, Duluth


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