DEED grant provides Goodwill-Easter Seals job placement funding for Minnesotans with mental illness

By Brian Boese, Communications CoordinatorGrant will help expand IPS services.

DEED grant provides Goodwill-Easter Seals job placement funding for Minnesotans with mental illness

2016-02-04 09:30:00

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announces $475,000 grant for IPS.

“For Minnesotans with mental illness, employment is an important part of recovery,” explained DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben.

With those words, DEED’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) unit announced that they were awarding $475,000 in grants that are designed to help people with mental illness find work. Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota will receive a portion of the funding to provide Individual Placement Services (IPS) in Olmsted and Fillmore counties.

Sheila Olson

“We’re thrilled not only that this funding allows us to continue to prepare people for work, but also for the continued recognition of the success of IPS and the power of work to help people recover from mental illness,” responded Sheila Olson, Chief Services and Programs Officer for Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota.

IPS is an employment model in use for 25 years. It helps people with serious mental illnesses achieve part-time or full-time employment in mainstream, competitive jobs.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services received funding from the Minnesota Legislature last year to expand the IPS model to unserved and underserved areas of the state. The DEED grant is split between three organizations.Guild Incorporated will provide services in Scott County, Goodwill Easter Seals will provide services in Olmsted and Fillmore counties, and Rise Inc. will provide services in Hennepin County. The three projects began Feb. 1.

Goodwill-Easter Seals’ President & CEO Michael Wirth-Davis and DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben at last summer’s Diversity Career Fair.

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota’s Bradley Dreis is the Clinical Supervisor of the Working Well Mental Health Clinic in St. Paul, and has seen positive results from IPS. “We’ve been able to show that people have improved employment outcomes through IPS,” he said. “It helps get people to work quickly, seems to speed up the therapy process, and gets people connected to the outside world at an accelerated rate.”