Opportunity Services is awarded one-year grant in Chaska, MN

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Earlier this year, Opportunity Services responded to a request-for-proposal for 1-year grant in Carver County, Minnesota. Opportunity Services was awarded the grant and in July, Jennie Meuwissen started as the new Job Placement Coordinator in Chaska, Minnesota. For the first time in Opportunity Services history, Jennie works directly alongside the vocational rehabilitation counselors to help clients find employment in the community. While Jennie is technically an Opportunity Services employee, she takes leadership from the State of Minnesota. A major focus for the Chaska area will be transition-age young adults and their job readiness opportunities, including internships, mock interviews, resume reviews and more.

Jennie comes from years of experience in the human services field. Most recently she was the Manager of Youth Transition Services with Opportunity Partners for 12 years. She always knew she was interested in working with people with disabilities from a young age, when she mentored students with disabilities during her junior and senior year of high school. Jennie realized she didn’t want to be a teacher, but wanted to advocate for people with disabilities in another way. She found working on the provider-side of services was more impactful and she identified other beneficial ways to collaborate with schools.

The Chaska community was looking to bridge the gap of employment for people with disabilities and Jennie couldn’t be a better choice for the job! As a resident of Chaska for over 7 years, Jennie wanted to find a way to make a difference in her community. “This community needs an advocate for young adults with disabilities looking for employment,” said Jennie. “The Job Placement Coordinator working directly alongside vocational rehabilitation provides the perfect opportunity to collaborate.” As the conversation around disability and employment continues to grow in society and the Olmsted and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act take shape, the focus on transition- age young adults will increase. The partnership between Opportunity Services and the State of Minnesota in Chaska is a great example of the changing focus taking place in the disability community today and in the future.