One of the best kept secrets of the Minnesota CareerForce system is the extensive network of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) that are provided to career seekers with disabilities and to businesses who want to hire people with disabilities, all with no fee.
Through the professional work of statewide VRS Counselors and Employment Specialists located at key CareerForce locations throughout the state, businesses can receive consulting services that cover all stages of the hiring process from recruitment, financial incentives, education and training, job coaching, accessibility assessments, and periodic post-hire check-ins from Employment Specialists. Customized employment is one of the newer initiatives from VRS, which assists businesses with customizing the job match to the business's and individual’s needs and hiring candidates who may have a more significant disability.
In addition, business tax credits and deductions are available for federal and state taxes such as:
- Disabled Access Credit provides a non-refundable credit for small businesses that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities.
- Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction encourages businesses of any size to remove architectural and transportation barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the elderly.
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides employers with a federal income tax credit for hiring new employees who meet certain criteria.
A complete list of Employment Specialists in your region can be found on the Meet Your Regional Team page of CareerForceMN.com. Employers can find out more about hiring people with disabilities, see success stories and access additional online resources in the For Employers section of CareerForceMN.com.
Helping career seekers
For job seekers, the path to connecting with VRS Counselors begins at one of the CareerForce locations throughout Minnesota or by connecting with VRS services while youth are in high school or post-secondary education. In 2018, VRS received 6,989 new applications for assistance from persons with disabilities. VRS staff works with each person to assess their interest, skills and abilities, and then connects and matches each individual with employers who are hiring and have the right job fit. To do this, VRS employs a person-centered approach and commitment to recognize and respect each person’s own life wishes, choices, and goals, in addition to focusing on that person’s strengths and abilities
In 2018, VRS served 16,150 people with disabilities in both youth and adult stages of life, connecting 2,604 people with disabilities to employment, at an average hourly range of $12.80.