2004: "Pathways to Employment: Creating Connections to Work"
Minnesota's Application for a Comprehensive Employment Opportunities Grant occurs in August, 2004.
Minnesota's mission in "Pathways to Employment: Creating Connections to Work" is to (pg. 17):
"…assure all Minnesotans with disabilities have access to competitive employment opportunities with needed supports. Minnesota will do this by creating connections between Medicaid, workforce development, education, and economic development. Minnesota strives to create a system of supports and services that are consumer driven and are guided by disability policy goals of equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. We ascribe to the philosophy that disability is a normal part of the human experience and should be regarded as such. Hiring people with disabilities adds to the diversity of our workforce and makes good business sense."
A member expressed the following sentiment in one of these stakeholder meetings (pg. 16):
"There needs to be a paradigm shift from where work is seen as an 'activity' to a meaningful part of life…"