Partners and Providers

DHS partners with counties, tribes, providers, consumer groups, advocacy organizations and other partners in human services to address Minnesotans' needs.


Minnesota Employment Learning Community

Learning communities, sometime referred to as communities of practice, are groups of people who share a passion on a particular issue or topic that they know how to do and who work together to learn how to do it better. 

  • What is the Minnesota Employment Learning Community?

    The Minnesota Employment Learning Community is a group of people working to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.  These outcomes include earning at least minimum wage and working in a job alongside people without disabilities.  

    We talk about this as “integrated, competitive employment”.  During the course of this work, the Minnesota Employment Learning Community will:

    • Identify promising practices, approaches and partnerships that lead to people having these employment outcomes
    • Discuss ways that Minnesota can adopt Employment First principles and support people who choose to work get jobs.  
  • How do I participate in this group?

    The Minnesota Employment Learning Community is seeking additional members for the 2014-15 school year, to focus on employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 14 to 26.

    Participants will be individuals with disabilities and family members, or from organizations that support integrated, competitive employment outcomes for people with disabilities.  Typical participants for this learning community will be:

    • People with disabilities and their families
    • Community non-profit organization representatives 
    • Research and training institution representatives
    • State and local social services agency representatives

    If you are interested in becoming a member of the Employment Learning Community and work together to achieve employment for people with disabilities, please complete the Statement of Interest Form. The form includes instructions how to submit (mail or fax) the application. Applications are due no later than Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

    Available assistance

    Support to prepare for and attend meetings is available to you if you are selected to participate in this group.

    If you require help to complete this form, please contact Bekah Satre at or 651-431-5783. 

  • What is involved if I am chosen to participate in this group?

    Terms of the membership are one- or two-year terms. There is a maximum of three years of participation allowed.

    Time commitment

    Participating in the Employment Learning Community will involve approximately 4 hours per month:

    • Monthly 3-hour meetings in Roseville Minnesota
    • Personal time spent between meetings to read and prepare information to share with the group

    Outstate members

    Members who do not live in the metro area will be able to join the meetings by phone. More information will be made available at a later date.

  • How can I find more information?

    If you have questions, please contact Andrea Zuber at 651-431-2430 or

    More information about what “integrated, competitive employment” or “Employment First” means, is available on the Minnesota's Olmstead Plan website

Public comment period on draft Employment First Policy

Minnesota's Olmstead Plan directs the state to adopt an Employment First Policy and use the policy and principles in the future design and delivery of services. This is the responsibility of the MN Olmstead sub-cabinet.
As a first step, the Minnesota Employment Learning Community is asked to discuss strategies that adopt Employment First principles, informed choice and support of job seekers who choose work.
The Minnesota Learning Community, sponsored by the Minnesota departments of Human Services; Employment and Economic Development and Education, is seeking public comment on a DRAFT Employment First Policy (PDF) for the sub-cabinet to consider. This policy is:

Please note DHS has extended the timeline to submit comments. DHS is receiving comments from 8 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014, through 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, 2014. Submit comments on the draft to no later than 4 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 31, 2014.

Stakeholder input

The DRAFT Minnesota Employment First policy is based on over seven years of feedback from people with disabilities and many different stakeholder groups, since the Employment First movement in Minnesota launched in 2007. This timeline provides information on the many venues in which people with disabilities, parents, family members and other stakeholders provided invaluable guidance and advice from across the service and disability communities.

The University of Minnesota's Research and Training Center on Community Living created an Employment Input Timeline. Hover over each square to learn more about how stakeholders were involved.

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