Networking Resources

Here we provide a wide variety of networking resources to help you find and recruit qualified candidates.

Employment Networks
The Social Security Administration (SSA) supports its Ticket to Work program with Employment Networks (EN). An EN is an organization providing services for people who have disabilities to return to work. Services may include job counseling or placement, interview and resume-writing training or other job support services. Businesses can connect with a local EN for help finding qualified candidates.

Disability Employment Specialists
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development provide a support and education to Minnesota businesses through the work of Disability Employment Specialists. Each region of Minnesota has a Disability Employment Specialist who focuses on helping business effectively tap into the workforce pool of qualified individuals with disabilities along with the resources that support successful employment experiences.

Minnesota Business Leadership Network
The Minnesota Business Leadership Network utilizes a business-to-business approach to help educate and promote the vital business strategy of including people who have disabilities in the workforce. The Minnesota Business Leadership Network promotes best employment practices and enhances competitive employment opportunities for skilled candidates with disabilities. Businesses can share resources for recruiting candidates who have disabilities, best practices and information on disability related issues and topics.

Community Rehabilitation Programs
Community rehabilitation programs and agencies focus on employment opportunities for people who have disabilities. They do not charge employers for services they provide and, in many cases, have agreed to work with member businesses of the Minnesota Business Leadership Network to help businesses cast wider recruiting nets.

Networking with Students to Grow Your Own Talent
Establishing connections with younger generations and others entering the workforce is an effective way to grow the talent pipeline. Providing work experiences for youth is an investment in future candidate pools.

Studies show that companies participating in young adult recruitment have an easier time staffing in the future. Here are some recruiting resources to find the youthful talent you need.

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities
COSD is a professional association comprised of more than 600 colleges and universities and over 400 major national employers that assist organizations in developing collaborative relationships between the Disability Services and Career Services offices on campuses. COSD closely works with employers to identify innovative methods of recruiting and hiring college graduates with disabilities, including creation of internship opportunities or encouraging participation of employers in specialized internship and recruiting programs that focus on college students with disabilities.

Workforce Recruitment Program
The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a resource for businesses nationwide to identify qualified temporary and regular employees from a variety of fields. Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), WRP provides employers with the following services at no cost to the business.

  • Job candidates screened through face-to-face interviews.
  • Information about each applicant's qualifications.
  • Referral pools tailored to specific job requirements.
  • Access to candidates across the nation, by state or job category.
  • Flexibility in hiring for summer internships or permanent positions
  • Opportunity to identify outstanding interns for permanent staffing needs
  • Freedom to conduct independent interviews after referrals are made.

Workforce Recruitment Program recruiters conduct personal interviews with interested students on college and university campuses and funnel details from those interviews into a database containing information on students and recent graduates seeking temporary or permanent jobs.

Employers in the private and non-profit sectors can gain access to the WRP pool of candidates through the Employer Assistance and Recruiting Network (EARN), another no-fee service of ODEP.

Organizations can engage the Workforce Recruitment Program by either calling EARN at 866.327.6669; or by visiting their website and search keyword "wrp."

For consultation and support, contact your regional Disability Employment Specialist (800-328-9095).