VRS_Transition in Leadership

Vocational Rehabilitation Services header


Vocational Rehabilitation Services received the news on Monday afternoon that Larry Vrooman will no longer be serving as the VRS director. Please see the message below from DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. The VRS leadership team is working closely with Carol Pankow, DEED’s assistant commissioner for workforce services, to maintain stability and to ensure a smooth transition during this interim period. You can expect to hear more soon from Carol Pankow, and we will be reaching out to you to share information and plans for next steps. Thank you.

John Fisher
Interim Director
Vocational Rehabilitation Services

From: Grove, Steve (DEED)
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2019 3:25 PM
Subject: Next steps for VRS

Hi VRS Team,

I wanted to share the news that Larry Vrooman is leaving DEED, effective today, August 19. We thank Larry for his work during his time in this position.

During the transition, John Fisher will be serving as Interim Director of the VRS division, and Carol Pankow will lead the hiring effort to identify a new Director. Carol will also be leading our efforts to comply with federal monitoring this week.

Carol, John and I just met with all the VRS division leads, and I know that the division is in good hands as we move forward.

Navigating changes in leadership can be hard, but I’m completely confident this transition will lead to a strong, collaborative VRS team that will reach new heights in our efforts to empower Minnesotans from all ability levels to find competitive integrated employment. The work of this division has never been more important. With historic workforce shortages and many fast-moving changes to our economy, it’s critical the VRS team continue to prize innovative ideas from across the department on how DEED can train and help employ more and more Minnesotans into great jobs in our economy. We believe this team is essential to our mission to empower the growth of the Minnesota economy for everyone. And I’m excited for our next chapter together.

Please let Carol or me know if you have any immediate questions. Thank you for your flexibility during this time of transition.



Steve Grove |Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
1st National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota St., Suite E200, St. Paul MN 55101