In 2022, the Institute on Community Integration and University of Massachusetts Boston received a $3 million grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to design and implement a statewide strategy for connecting Minnesotans with disabilities to better jobs and higher pay.

Designed to help organizations move away from supporting employment that pays subminimum wages, the Minnesota Transformation Initiative (MTI) Technical Assistance Center designs and implements plans to assist nearly two dozen service providers as they expand their customized, integrated employment services. MTI provides peer-mentoring strategies for job seekers with disabilities and for organizations, along with progress and quality assessments.

The grant will benefit eight service providers who expect to be fully transitioning their workshop-based model over the next couple of years. About 15 other providers in various stages of their own transition will also receive training and other support as part of the grant. The project will also offer statewide training opportunities for day and employment service providers that are interested in organizational transformation and peer mentoring an education for self-advocates and families who are experiencing a transition out of subminimum wage employment.