Disability Employment Initiative
Minnesota’s Round 7 Disability Employment Initiative – Partners for Youth Career Pathways began in 2016 when DEED Youth Development was awarded a 42-month, $2.5 million Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grant to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth with disabilities, ages 14-24, who were one or more of the following: out-of-school, foster youth, teen parent, homeless, at-risk of dropping out of school, or ex-offender. The project is operated in three WDAs: Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc., Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Services, and Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council. DEED Youth Services received a DEI grant in the third round of funding from the Federal Department of Labor. Resources for both rounds can be found below.
The goal is to link Minnesota youth with disabilities to gainful employment through individualized needs assessment and comprehensive services such as career planning, post-secondary career education, systems linkages and service coordination and other promising practices.
The project operates in three pilot sites. State level partners include the Minnesota Department of Education, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind, and the PACER Center.
For more information, read the Minnesota DEI: Partners for Youth fact sheet or the MN DEI Overview PowerPoint.