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

Vocational Rehabilitation Services header

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

NOTE:  This is the second of two Pre-Employment Transition Services Pilot Projects that DEED-VRS will support during the 2020-21 school year.  These pilots emerged out of district-led discussions regarding how Pre-ETS could best be implemented in their respective schools. The first pilot, with Minneapolis Public Schools, was announced on June 19, 2020.  This second pilot represents a greater Minnesota perspective.  DEED-VRS and its partners will evaluate outcomes from these two pilots, share results broadly and determine next steps from there.


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 Princeton Public Schools (ISD 477).

The selection team will rate higher those organizations that have a strong Pre-ETS foundation built, have robust business partnerships and have successfully provided services to high school students, particularly Princeton 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 Wednesday, July 22, 2020.


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires that DEED-VRS have, in coordination with high schools, the following five Pre-Employment Transition Services available to students with disabilities, ages 14 through 21, that are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services:

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

The purpose of this Pre-ETS pilot is to build a consistent structure for providing Pre-ETS to potentially eligible students within the Princeton Public Schools (ISD 477) by aligning instruction and support. Two P/T contracted providers will be selected to join a 2020-21 school year pilot team that will also include school district, DEED-VRS, and MN Department of Education (MDE) staff. This group will:

  • Map out how Pre-ETS are currently available to students with disabilities within district programming;
  • Identify Pre-ETS gaps and address these by identifying or building curriculum and work-based learning opportunities together;
  • Plan for which curriculum and work-based learning components will be delivered by ISD 477 and which would be provided by VRS Pre-ETS P/T contracted providers; and
  • Implement the plan with a selected group of potentially eligible students.

All curriculum developed will be publicly available and other P/T contracted providers who wish to provide Pre-ETS to potentially eligible ISD 477 students will have the opportunity to be trained in the model that is developed.


P/T contracted providers selected to participate in the pilot will be asked to attend planning meetings with the DEED-VRS, ISD 477, MDE team starting in August 2020.


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 Princeton Public Schools
  • A description of Pre-ETS services that are currently available through your organization
  • A description of the business partnerships your organization has, especially in Princeton
  • 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 one or two direct services staff persons that will participate in the pilot


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

     Provided responsive letter

     Meets or exceeds basic requirements

     Has relevant and successful service experience with target population

     Has strong business partnerships

     Has prior successful working relationship with Princeton 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.