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Best Practices for Diversity

Diversity is a strong component of State employment and a normal part of everyday State business. The Equal Opportunity, Diversity & Inclusion (EODI) Team assists agencies in the development of diversity programming and initiatives.

The goal of this participation is to:
  • Ensure that diversity is reflected in all state government activities, including employment and delivery of services to customers
  • Identify and remove barriers in the hiring process and make services accessible to all Minnesotans

Other Resources

Additional best practices information and resources will be coming soon!

Information on this page will include:

  • Tips for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace
  • Steps for recruiting a diverse candidate pool
  • Ways to ensure a fair and equitable hiring and selection process
  • Resources for retaining your human capital
  • White papers, reports, and other insightful research

Increasing People with Disabilities in State Employment

The State of Minnesota aspires to be a leader in employing individuals with disabilities and recognizes that to maintain a competitive edge in today’s workforce; individuals with disabilities are an integral part of our success as Minnesota’s largest employer in providing responsive services to all Minnesotans.

  • Executive Order 14-14
    On the evening of August 4, 2014, Governor Dayton signed Executive Order 14-14, Providing for Increased State Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, which went into effect August 19, 2014. Levels of state employment of individuals with disabilities have decreased from 10.1% in 1999 to 3.2% in 2013. The Governor’s order is consistent with efforts at both the national level and the state level and with the Olmstead Plan to ensure individuals with disabilities are working in the most integrated setting.

    In the Executive Order, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) and the State Director for Equal Opportunity, ADA, Diversity & Inclusion is tasked with ensuring that state agencies have the necessary resources to implement this order. Following is information about the activities leading up to the Executive Order and actions required by MMB and state agencies to implement the requirements of Executive Order 14-14 and ensure that state employment of individuals with disabilities reaches the 7% goal in the next four years.
  • Relationship Building and Partnerships

    Over the past two years, MMB built relationships with many partners across state agencies and in the disability community. These relationships have been crucial to understanding the barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities and what state agencies can do to alleviate those barriers in state employment.

    State Disability Agency Forum

    MMB is an active partner with the State Disability Agency Forum. The Disability Agency Forum keeps MMB apprised of constituent concerns about accessing state employment and provides recommendations and resources.

    Partners include:

    MMB works with these partners as a whole and individually on issues regarding recruitment, employment, retention, and accessibility – both physical accessibility to the workplace and technology accessibility.

    Agencies: Agencies should have a good understanding of the role of each of the partners listed above and how the partners can help or assist in the recruitment, hiring, or retention of individuals with disabilities. Information about the state agency disability forum partners will be posted in a toolbox website and agencies will be notified when the toolbox is available.

    Minnesota Community Advisors on Recruitment and Retention Services (MnCARRS)

    MnCARRS is comprised of state agencies and several community organizations and partners to include disability groups. MnDOT began the MnCARRS group about seven years ago to form relationships with community organizations in an effort to recruit more diverse personnel at MnDOT. In 2013, MMB began co-chairing the MnCARRS group and its reach was expanded to all state agencies. MMB has invited MnCARRS partners to be active participants on workgroups to improve the hiring system and provides ongoing communication to our community partners about job and training opportunities.

    Agencies: Agencies are expected to actively participate in the MnCARRS initiative through attending meetings, presenting to community partners about their agency or opportunities, and/or providing information about positions - in particular entry-level or mass hire positions - agencies wish to fill at least a week ahead of the position closing date. Please email Elizabeth Nelson, the Statewide Recruiter, at for more information or to send information about a job posting to our community partners. For more information about MnCARRS, visit MMB’s Equal Opportunity Resources page and click on “MnCARRS Partnership” tab.

    Employer Work Relations Task Force

    MMB participated on the Employer Work Relations Task Force, a group formed by Minnesota’s Commission on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (MnCDDHH) comprised of state agency disability partners and disability community organization, to tackle the recommendations made in the Governor’s Workforce Development Council’s All Hands on Deck Report, reissued in 2012.

    The Task Force focused their efforts on three specific items:
    • Job qualifications in job postings: The Employer Work Relations Task Force partnered with the Humphrey Institute to audit state positions and determined that more than 70% of job postings contained potentially discriminatory language. As a result, MMB developed statewide guidance, “Inclusive Job Postings” and recommended alternative language to physical and sensory job qualifications that were erecting unnecessary barriers.

      Agencies: Prior to posting a job opening, agencies are expected to review job postings for sensory and physical qualifications and edit to ensure inclusive language where possible. For guidance, refer to the Common Discriminatory Words and Possible Alternatives document.

    • Research and identification of best practices from other employers and development of components of a model recruitment and retention plan. Additionally, development of a website with these best practices and helpful resources. One best practice identified was a centralized reasonable accommodation fund. MMB is conducting a study due to the Governor’s office and the legislature January 15, 2015 of the feasibility of a centralized fund.

      Agencies: Agencies are expected to participate when called upon in pilot projects and the identification of best practices to recruit and retain individuals with disabilities. If agencies have had successes in the past, please send those examples to Ann Feaman, the State Director for Equal Opportunity at When MMB notifies agencies of the completion of the toolbox website, agencies are expected to review and incorporate best practices for recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities where possible.

    • Draft an executive order and obtain the Governor’s support to increase employment for individuals with disabilities in state employment.
  • Creating Inclusive Job Descriptions
    Prior to posting a job opening, agencies are expected to review job postings for sensory and physical qualifications and edit to ensure inclusive language where possible.

    For recommendations, refer to the Possible Alternatives to Physical and Sensory Job Qualifications document.
  • Training and Resource Guides