Have you heard of The Achievement Center (TAC)? TAC provides a variety of employment services and supports for individuals with disabilities in and around Worthington, MN. TAC was formed in the 1960s, and became a division of Hope Haven in 2010. In fiscal year 2019, TAC provided services for 117 individuals.
The past year has been ripe with change for employment services. When facility based employment in Iowa transitioned to community based services in 2019 due to the federal site rules mandate, a portion of existing contracts shifted their working partnerships over to TAC. Today, workers at TAC are busier than ever packaging candy for Foreign Candy Company, counting and collating ElastiTags for Bedford Industries, producing wooden survey stakes, among many other tasks. “It’s gone really smoothly,” says TAC Work Services Manager Michael Dempster about the influx of work.
In addition to services that are offered on-site at TAC, employment opportunities in Minnesota also exist in the form of Community Employment, Supported Employment and Individual Placement & Support (IPS). IPS is unique because an individual’s employment services are integrated with their mental health treatment. In Minnesota, Hope Haven began implementing IPS in 2014 through a state grant program, and has helped more than 125 individuals obtain employment.
In 2018, Hope Haven’s Minnesota IPS program received an “Exemplary” rating, a high fidelity feat that only six other Minnesota IPS partnerships have achieved in the past 12 years, and the possibilities only continue to grow for the program. “We are in a strong position to continue assisting people with mental illness in achieving employment,” confirms Scott Witte, Director of Employment Services.