Career Connect Newsletter: August 2020

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Career Connect Newsletter

This Month's Spotlight: Vocational Rehabilitation

ADA 30th Anniversary logo

Commemorating the ADA’s 30th Anniversary

Did you know 2020 is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act? The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. It is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation which prohibits discrimination and ensures individuals with disabilities have the same rights as others.

The ADA has played a significant role in the development of vocational rehabilitation programs that provide employment and training opportunities to persons with disabilities. In Michigan, this connection is especially apparent through the work of Bureau of Services for Blind Persons and Michigan Rehabilitation Services as they ensure barriers are removed to make accommodations to promote an equitable workplace for both individuals and businesses.

To commemorate this important milestone, several state agencies are uniting to highlight services, equipment, events and other offerings available throughout Michigan.

To learn more about the ADA’s 30th Anniversary and upcoming celebratory events, please visit


Pure Michigan Talent Connect logo

Find Your Next Job Today

There are currently more than 54,000 jobs available in Michigan – find them on Pure Michigan Talent Connect. To create your job seeker profile (it’s free) and search for available jobs, visit

Vocational Rehabilitation 100th Anniversary logo

Celebrating a Century of Success: 100 Years of Vocational Rehabilitation

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Fess Act by President Woodrow Wilson, creating public vocational rehabilitation services. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is instrumental in helping persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain/advance in their careers.

Michigan’s public VR consists of two agencies: Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). Both are part of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training. During fiscal year 2019, Michigan VR served more than 49,000 residents with disabilities and nearly 6,000 businesses.

“As VR continues to move into the next 100 years of serving people with disabilities, MRS continues to lead nationally in embracing and operationalizing the ‘dual customer’ concept of serving both the VR participant and businesses using a model of demand-driven employment,” said MRS Director Tina Fullerton.

“BSBP has led the nation in utilizing tools such as The Career Index Plus to align VR participant career goals with in-demand careers,” said BSBP Director Bill Robinson.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary, a special video, VR100 Anniversary: A Century of Success, was created. Also, the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation Services has published an historical timeline that highlights the impact and significance of vocational rehabilitation services.

Please join us in supporting VR’s vital mission and ongoing success – as we look to the next 100 years and beyond!

MRS video screen shot

New Video Offers Great Virtual Job Fair Tips

Virtual job fairs have become increasingly popular, allowing companies and job seekers to connect in a virtual environment. Are you prepared to take full advantage of these new opportunities?

Michigan Rehabilitation Services has created a video, Virtual Job Fair Overview for Job Seekers, to help explain the benefits these events offer. Lisa Bartley and Lisa Stanley, Business Relations Consultants with MRS' Business Network Division, explain effective approaches for job seekers, including helpful strategies for success at virtual job fairs.

Virtual Job Fair image

Add a Virtual Job Fair to Your “To Do” List

More than 2,000 Michigan employers are looking to hire talent right now – and many of them are participating in virtual job fairs and hiring events. A growing list will be posted on Pure Michigan Talent Connect's events calendar, so be sure to check there often.


More Resources put together a list of “frequently asked questions” about virtual job fairs – read on to find answers. Also, here’s a web article, How to Impress Employers at Virtual Events, that offers more helpful tips.

photo of student nurses in training

MCTI: Expanding its Reach to Benefit ALL Michiganders

From its campus in Plainwell, the Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) has provided vocational training for students with disabilities for more than five decades. But in recent years, MCTI has used its vocational training expertise to develop a community-based program to benefit Michiganders wherever they may live.

Held at educational and training sites throughout the state, MCTI’s Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) training program benefits individuals who do not typically meet traditional testing criteria.

By bringing its robust curriculum into communities throughout Michigan, MCTI addresses an acute healthcare talent shortage while also supporting participants in Michigan’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope (PATH) programs. Since 2014, MCTI has delivered a total of 38 C.N.A. sessions across the state, graduating 376 individuals with a job placement rate of 76%.

For more information about MCTI and its programs, please visit

BSBP logo

Specialized Services Available through BSBP

The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) provides specialized services for those who are blind or visually impaired. Their mission is to empower you to achieve employment and independence, and they accomplish this, in part, by working with you to define your goals and identifying appropriate training and other services.

To learn more about their services, contact BSBP at 800-292-4200 (TTY 888-864-1212) or find a local office by visiting

Democracy MVP screen image

Looking for a job and a way to help your community?

Election workers are needed to ensure free and fair elections for all, while helping to assist clerks and count ballots. Note: those currently collecting unemployment benefits will be required to report gross earnings when certifying.

Sign up to be an election worker.

No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service image.

Mask up, Michigan!

Research shows masks can greatly reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19, especially when approximately 40% of those who have it may be asymptomatic.

We can only contain the virus and keep Michigan open if everyone stays careful and masks up when they leave home, whether they feel sick or not.

Learn more about protecting the public and protecting workers at