Employment and Career Services

If you have a significant vision loss that makes it hard for you to get and keep a job, you may be eligible for a variety of counseling, training, job skills, and job placement services.

Services vary according to individual needs. SSB counselors work with you to determine which services you will need to reach your job goal.

Together you then develop a plan to help you reach this goal. Counselors who know about vision loss and understand workplace demands will help you choose which options are the best for you.

For more information, call 651-539-2373.

Business Enterprises Program

The Minnesota Business Enterprises Program (BEP) provides profitable vending machine business opportunities to qualified licensed legally blind Minnesotans in order to broaden their economic opportunities. You've probably come across one of our vendor sites in a state or federal office building, a rest area or on a state college or university campus.

The BEP provides training, certification, technical support and management services to these self-employed vending business owners.

Qualified individuals must work with an SSB counselor, meet the requirements of our comprehensive evaluation process, and complete an extensive training to be certified to operate a BEP vending business.

The BEP administers this program under the authority of the federal Randolph-Sheppard Act and has an exclusive authority to establish vending businesses on state property.

For further information about the BEP, contact John Hulet at 651-539-2284 or via email at John.Hulet@state.mn.us.

Technology

Our Assistive and Adaptive Technology Unit develops, coordinates and provides technology services that help people on the job, in school or at home.

We serve as a clearing house for information and expertise to employers, government agencies and consumers. We cover both hardware and software; we can assess systems and make recommendations; and we stay on top of emerging trends.

For more information, call 651-539-2300.

Find a Vendor

In serving our customers, SSB works with partners in the community (vendors) who can offer specialized training or expertise. When selecting a vendor, customers are encouraged to contact vendors to find out more information when making a decision regarding services.

For a list of currently contracted vendors that have met the standards developed by SSB, select a link below.

Application

Eligibility for any of our employment and career services is determined based on several criteria, the first of which is a significant vision loss.

People who receive SSI or SSDI because of their vision loss are automatically eligible.

To discuss your eligibility and the programs or services that might be available to you or to request an application for services, call 651-539-2373 or 1-800-652-9000 and ask to speak with someone in the Workforce Development Unit.

Or use our Information Request form and the appropriate member of our staff will contact you.

Podcasts

Our Career Podcasts offer helpful advice and insights for job seekers and workers trying to advance their careers. Hear from experts and opinion-makers on a variety of employment-related issues and trends.

WastedTime2.jpgA Brief History of Wasted Time

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, describes how one lost afternoon arranging travel plans provided valuable lessons about effectively using time during a job search. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.


DarkHorse2.jpgThe Dark Horse Candidate Need Not Be Out of the Running

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, explains how a dark horse candidate can make the most of interviews and connections while also avoiding the pitfalls that come with pushing a top candidate out of place. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.


TimeSpent2.jpgHow Much Time Should You Spend on Your Job Search?

U.S. News and World Report's Alison Green encourages job seekers not to worry if their search does not take 40 hours a week, since the time spent on a search depends on a candidate's skill level and other factors. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.




SuccessSkills2.jpgThe Surprising Skill Successful People Have in Common (and How to Cultivate It)

The Huffington Post's Martha Beck shows why being a leader is not always feasible in every situation, nor is it productive. She highlights reasons why being a follower can be equally satisfying and rewarding. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.


Hi TechTech Impaired? Pair-Up with a Younger Mentor

Wall Street Journal columnist Sue Shellenbarger writes about how younger workers are taking older, less tech-savvy coworkers and bosses under their wings. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.



Hurray for You 15 Times!15 Things to Celebrate in Your Job Search

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, gives readers some reasons to feel good about their job search, even if the perfect job has not yet materialized. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast. 



Noteworthy Job-Hunting AdviceSome Tried and True - and New - Advice for New Graduates

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, offers new graduates both heart-felt congratulations and career-launching tips. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.



George Wurtzel holds a wood carving in his handsWoodworker's Magic Touch: You Learn to See with Your Hands

Star Tribune writer Kristin Tillotson highlights the work of George Wurtzel, a Minneapolis woodworker and furniture designer, who is blind. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.



Two men working on a machine

Here's One Way to Solve the Skills Gap

Wall Street Journal writer Lauren Weber argues that apprenticeships are both a very precise and highly efficient way for employers to get the skills they need most in workers. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast


Avoid words like these on your resume

Five Phrases You Should Never Use on Your Resume

Columnist Hannah Hamilton points out some common cliches and empty words that should be stripped out of every resume. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast. 


woman appears dejected

Dealing With Disappointment in Job Search

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, identifies positive steps job seekers can take to overcome the inevitable let-downs and disappointments that accompany any job search. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.



Disappointed man with his head in his hands

When Your Dream Job Disappoints, How to Find Plan B

Wall Street Journal columnist Sue Shellenbarger explores the "surprisingly common dilemma" of people who hate the career they thought they'd love. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast. 



Man holding a resume

Applications, Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, offers insights on making the best of these very different job-search tools. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.


Nine Things to Know.jpg

What You Should Know Before Starting Your First Job

Doris Shen covers the ins and outs of good work habits that will make a favorable impression on your employer as you begin your new job.  Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.


Boss holding a business card that says "career sabotage"

Why Would My Boss Want to Sabotage My Career?

Columnist Matt Krumrie delves into what makes bosses stand in the way of employees who are looking to transfer to other work units within the same company. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.




Belo Cipriani with his guide dog

Hiring Blind: Taking Adaptive Technology on Job Interviews

Author Belo Cipriani talks about how demonstrating adaptive technology during job interviews impresses prospective employers and gives them the confidence to hire blind job seekers. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.





Cartoon of male job seeker


Four Job-Search Trends

In the digital age, job seekers have to be more tech-savvy than ever, especially when it comes to using social media and smart phones to showcase yourself and find job leads. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast. (Opens in a new window)



A woman and man shake hands during a job interview


Fast (and Slow) Job Interview Preparation

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, offers some techniques for quickly gathering and analyzing information about your target company before a job interview. Listen now .  Read a transcript of this podcast.



Man in a suit holding a folder that says "Best Practices"


Best Practices to Streamline Your Job Search

Amy Lindgren, national newspaper columnist and president of Prototype Career Service, covers a dozen strategic, action-oriented things you can do to improve your job search. Listen now . Read a transcript of this podcast.




Belo Cipriani and his guide dog


Hiring Blind:  The Misconceptions Facing America's Visually Impaired Workforce (Part 1)

As a recruiter for companies like Google and Apple, Belo Cipriani seldom interviewed disabled candidates. After he was attacked and beaten so badly that it left him blind, Cipriani's perspective on the role of the recruiter and people with disabilities in the job market changed greatly. Listen now.  Read a transcript of this podcast.




Photo of blind man wearing suit and tie, working at a computer


Hiring Blind:  The Misconceptions Facing America's Visually Impaired Workforce (Part 2)

In this part, Belo Cipriani covers how hiring managers can make their companies more inclusive, how blind workers can increase their chances of hire, and how sighted people can help. Listen now.  Read a transcript of this podcast.