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Seven Percent of All Minnesota State Employees Are People with Disabilities, Reaching Goal Set by Governor Mark Dayton

8/29/2018 12:59:07 PM

In 2014, 4.7 percent of state employees were people with disabilities; Dayton Administration effort increases that, connecting over 920 disabled workers with careers in state government

So far this year, 7.8 percent of all new hires have been persons with disabilities

The State of Minnesota remains committed to connecting workers of all abilities to well-paying, rewarding careers in state government
ST. PAUL, MN – In 2014, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order, directing Minnesota’s state government agencies to increase employment of people with disabilities to at least seven percent by August 2018. Today, Governor Dayton announced the State has achieved that important goal. The Governor also affirmed Minnesota’s ongoing commitment to building upon that progress, and connecting more Minnesotans with disabilities to rewarding career opportunities in state government.
“We have made important progress to reduce employment barriers for people with disabilities, connecting over 920 well-qualified workers with rewarding career opportunities in state government since 2014,” said Governor Dayton. “Working together, we have increased the percentage of state employees who are persons with disabilities. But we must do more to ensure that all Minnesotans have equal opportunities to work for their state government, do business with the state, and participate fully in our democracy.”
In 2014, people with disabilities made up only 4.7 percent of the State of Minnesota’s workforce, with the State’s hiring rate for people with disabilities at just 4.5 percent. Over the past four years, additional measures for active outreach, recruitment, and retention efforts have connected over 920 workers with disabilities to rewarding careers in state government. People with disabilities now make up seven percent of the State’s workforce, with the 2018 hiring rate at 7.8 percent – nearly double what it was in 2014.
“For government to truly work on behalf of all people, we need a state workforce that reflects the diverse populations we serve,” said Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner, Myron Frans. “Over the past eight years we have actively worked to change workplace culture. Meeting this goal is a reflection of our intentional focus on inclusion and diversity, and we are committed to continuing that work.”
“Achieving the goal of seven percent people with disabilities employed by the State Of Minnesota is a great accomplishment. This progress demonstrates a commitment to equity and inclusion for Minnesotans and will help us obtain a state government that truly reflects the people it serves,” said James Burroughs, Chief Inclusion Officer for the State of Minnesota. “People with disabilities are an essential part of Minnesota’s growing economy and we must continue building on these important relationships through recruitment, inclusion and retention in order to build a Minnesota that works for everyone. We look forward to creating more employment opportunities for people with disabilities for years to come.”
Breaking Down Employment Barriers for Minnesotans with Disabilities
In the State’s efforts to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, the Dayton Administration created the Connect 700 and Supported Workers initiatives to remove employment barriers for Minnesotans with disabilities. These efforts have been integral in the State’s successful efforts to connect more people with disabilities to rewarding careers in state government. 
“People with disabilities are an integral part of building an inclusive workforce. They bring a different perspective that fuels innovation, raises morale and drives organizational growth,” said Joan Willshire, Executive Director of the Minnesota Council on Disability. “We are grateful the Dayton Administration has valued the contributions of Minnesotans with disabilities. Working together, we can build on the progress of these last four years and create an even more inclusive state government workforce.”  
The Connect 700 Initiative – Connect 700 provides Minnesotans with disabilities opportunities to demonstrate their skills through on-the job trial work experiences, lasting up to 700 hours. The program gives hiring managers the opportunity to match prospective employees with the best opportunities for success. Since the relaunch of Connect700 in 2016, about 1,040 Minnesotans have been certified as eligible for the program. Thirty-one state agencies, boards, and commissions have hired 269 workers with disabilities through the Connect 700 initiative.
Supported Worker Initiative – A second effort, the Supported Worker initiative, offers people with disabilities integrated employment opportunities with up to 50 full-time positions within various state agencies. These positions can be shared by up to three people with disabilities. State agencies that sponsor the positions integrate employees into existing teams, and provide job coaches as needed.
“We are pleased that the Dayton Administration revitalized and invested in the Connect 700 hour program,” said Colleen Wieck, Executive Director, Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. “A 2005 research study of 600 Minnesota businesses showed that employees with disabilities were rated equal to or higher than employees without disabilities in similar positions in every performance attribute except for work speed. Employee attitude was the biggest driver of overall satisfaction.”
State of Minnesota Employment Data for People with Disabilities: 2014 – 2018
The following chart describes the progress the State of Minnesota has achieved in increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. This progress has been achieved through intentional, coordinated efforts across state government. The State of Minnesota remains committed to building upon this progress, and doing even more to break down employment barriers for workers with disabilities – creating a state workforce that reflects and includes the diversity of the people we serve.
Fiscal Year 2014
Employees with a Disability: 1,640
Percent of Total Workforce: 4.7%
Percent of Total New Hires: 4.5%
Fiscal Year 2015
Employees with a Disability: 1,997
Percent of Total Workforce: 5.8%
Percent of Total New Hires: 4.3%
Fiscal Year 2016
Employees with a Disability: 2,171
Percent of Total Workforce: 6.2%
Percent of Total New Hires: 5.0%
Fiscal Year 2017
Employees with a Disability: 2,631
Percent of Total Workforce: 6.6%
Percent of Total New Hires: 6.1%
Fiscal Year 2018
Employees with a Disability: 2,563
Percent of Total Workforce: 7.0%
Percent of Total New Hires: 7.8%
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