Tuesday, November 8, 2022

In this workshop, we are welcoming the DEED/Workforce Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) team to discuss Transitioning Youth with Disabilities to Employment. They will share information about disabilities as it pertains to statistics, myths, and etiquette, as well as how to partner with their program to support youth with disabilities as they seek employment. Additionally, Steve Kalina from Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA) will share success stories on how MPMA has connected youth with disabilities with businesses, helping to meet workforce needs.

Speakers

Ron Adams | Program Specialist, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS)

Ron Adams is a Program Specialist for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. He has worked for VRS for 16 years. Ron works in a variety of roles assisting people with disabilities in finding employment, with a focus on job seekers that are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Ron coordinates with businesses, community partners, and placement coordinators to find opportunities for program participants throughout the state of Minnesota.

Marci Jasper | Business Consultant, DEED, VRS

Marci has worked for VRS for 19 years. In the last 12 years, her focus has been on connecting with local and national businesses to assist them in diversifying their workforce by including people with disabilities. Marci enjoys thinking outside the box and helping business problem solve on workforce shortages and retention issues. Her passion of working with people with disabilities has spanned over 27 years in several capacities.

Alyssa Klein | Youth Services Coordinator, DEED, VRS

Alyssa has worked for VRS for over 25 years. She began her tenure as a career guidance counselor for youth and adults with disabilities. In her current statewide role, she works on policy, leads interagency initiatives and provides training and technical assistance to staff and stakeholders related to assisting youth with disabilities to be successful in postsecondary education and employment. Her primary interest is to see that all people with disabilities have the information, opportunities and supports needed to explore, prepare for and be successful in careers.

Michelle Chmielewski | Program Specialist in Placement, DEED, VRS

Michelle has over 10 years-experience supporting businesses committed to diversifying their workforce and create opportunities to be inclusive of people with disabilities. Michelle is an effective problem solver and assists businesses and job seekers to develop effective strategies to meet the hiring needs of businesses by providing qualified talent. She has partnered with multiple employers to hire and retain talent while supporting
the business and new employee to create a successful employer/employee match

Steve Kalina | President and CEO of Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Organization

Steve Kalina is President and CEO of the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA), a trade association that represents hundreds of precision manufacturers around the state, primarily focusing on workforce development and legislative influence. Prior to his role with MPMA, Steve was President of Dynamic Group, a contract manufacturer and long-time member of MPMA. After 20 years in industry, Steve recently completed a finance degree at Bethel University.