VRS_Request for Letters of Interest to Participate in a Pre-ETS Pilot

Vocational Rehabilitation Services header

Request for Letters of Interest to Participate in a MN DEED-VRS and Minneapolis Public Schools Pre-ETS Pilot


Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)- Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) is requesting Letters of Interest (LOI) from Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRP)s and/or Limited Use Vendors (LUV)s that currently have or will be amending their contract to include Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) on their DEED-VRS Professional and Technical (P/T) contracts to participate in a 2020-21 school year Pre-ETS pilot project with Minneapolis Public Schools.

The selection team will rate higher those organizations that have a strong Pre-ETS foundation built within their organization and have successfully provided services to high school students, particularly Minneapolis Public Schools students, in the past.

Letters of Interest must be submitted to Alyssa Klein at alyssa.klein@state.mn.us by 4:30pm on Monday, July 13, 2020. 


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires that DEED-VRS have, in coordination with high schools, the following five required Pre-Employment Transition Services available to students with disabilities that are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services:

  1. Job exploration counseling
  2. Work-based learning opportunities
  3. Counseling on postsecondary education options
  4. Workplace readiness training
  5. Instruction in self-advocacy

The purpose of this Pre-ETS pilot is to test a consistent structure for providing Pre-ETS to potentially eligible students within the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) by utilizing the district’s Career Readiness Seminar Student Guide and lessons from My Life Plan.  Two VRS Professional and Technical (P/T) contracted providers will be selected to join a team of VRS and district staff that will work closely together during August 2020 and the 2020-21 school year. Each provider will be assigned to a high school.  High school students with disabilities from each high school will be referred to VRS by the district.  Students that are determined to be “potentially eligible” and interested in participating will then be referred to the provider assigned to that school who will use the MPS guide and lessons with students, individually or in groups, to help them in creating a post-graduation plan. The team will gather feedback from the two P/T providers on what worked well and what needs to be improved in order to scale the effort into all MPS high schools and other interested P/T providers later in the 2020-21 school year.


P/T contracted providers selected to participate in the pilot will be asked to attend planning meetings and training with the DEED-VRS and MPS team starting in August 2020. 

Per MPS district policy, all selected providers will also be required to complete a community partnership contract.


DEED-VRS will compensate P/T contracted provider staff time spent in planning meetings, training or engaging in extra pilot-related work outside of Pre-ETS direct service time at a rate of $50/hour per staff person. (This item will be added to the P/T contracts of the two providers selected).

DEED-VRS will also authorize to and reimburse organizations for direct Pre-ETS service provision for each participating student at the rates outlined in the organization’s P/T contract.


Interested DEED-VRS P/T contracted providers should submit a letter of interest to DEED-VRS which includes the following information:

  • Name of organization
  • A description of your organization’s interest in participating in the pilot
  • A description of any past successful work that your organization has done in serving high school students, including students at Minneapolis Public Schools
  • A description of Pre-ETS services that is currently available through your organization
  • Name, contact information and short bio of one management level staff person that will participate in the pilot
  • Name, contact information and short bio of two direct services staff persons that will participate in the pilot

Selection Team Rating

The following items will be considered in selecting the two P/T contracted providers:

     Provided responsive letter

     Meets basic requirements

     Exceeds basic requirements

     Has relevant service experience with target population

     Has excellent service experience with target population

     Has prior successful working relationship with Minneapolis Public Schools

     Has evidence of highly qualified personnel to provide and supervise services


Contact Alyssa Klein at alyssa.klein@state.mn.us or 763-567-9292.