MN Employment Center

Career solutions for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities.

The MEC team collaborates and works with Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard-of-Hearing people of all work backgrounds to discover new skills, explore career opportunities and find meaningful employment.
The Minnesota Employment Center Team is currently supporting people remotely and are available to help individuals with questions related to work and COVID-19. If you need assistance understanding and applying for unemployment we are able to assist as well. Please reach out with any work related questions and we can provide support and guidance. Thank you.


A man working in a factory

Benefits of working with MEC

MEC is here to unlock your potential, from your first job search to ongoing job coaching and support when you need it.

  • Resume and cover letter development
  • Job searches and contacting potential employers
  • Interviews, job shadowing and company tours
  • Job customization and support to fit your needs
  • Employer training and communications setup
  • Ongoing job coaching and training to help grow your skills

Accessing Services

MEC provides services for individuals with documentation of being Deaf, DeafBlind, and/or Hard-of-Hearing and their employers. You qualify for services if…

You are an individual who is Deaf, DeafBlind, or Hard-of-Hearing and are currently employed. We can help you with…

  • Getting accommodations from your workplace
  • Mental health concerns related to your employment
  • Career advancement, change, and/or transition within your current field.

  • You employ an individual who is Deaf, DeafBlind, or Hard-of-Hearing. We can help you with…

  • Finding interpreters
  • Setting up accommodations
  • Creating an accessible work environment
  • Other business needs as applicable

  • Please Note: If you are an individual who is Deaf, DeafBlind, or Hard-of-Hearing but are not currently employed, you’ll need to be referred to us by Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation or Minnesota State Services for the Blind. Please visit their respective websites to learn more about applying for services.

    Employer Resources

    If you are a Minnesota business and have a Deaf, Deaf-Blind or Hard of Hearing employee MEC can support you. A member of our team can:

    • Assess the work environment for appropriate accommodations.
    • Provide training to staff about working with a Deaf, Deaf-Blind, or Hard of Hearing person.
    • Offer resources for interpreters and other communication devices that can be utilized on the job.
    • Follow-up with both the employer and employee on a regular basis to create a productive and happy work environment for all.

    Latest News

    MEC and ThinkSelf Partnership

    A new partnership between the Minnesota Employment Center (MEC) and ThinkSelf will expand services for Minnesota’s Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities.

    Read More about MEC and ThinkSelf Partnership

    Read all of our news

    Our Communities

    We take pride in finding a unique solution for everyone who comes to us, no matter your background, specific disability or work history. Our communications expertise and close relationships with the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard-of-Hearing communities have given us the chance to work with hundreds of Minnesotans — and to connect them with employers who see the value in working with a diverse, vibrant group of people.

    With offices in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead and Faribault, we’re able to provide services to all Minnesotans.

    About Us

    Minnesota Employment Center (MEC) is a program that provides career solutions and customized support for the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard-of-Hearing communities in MN. MEC is a collaboration between Rise Incorporated and ThinkSelf, with support from the State of Minnesota.

    Success Stories


    Hilton Garden Inn

    Ade, a native of Nigeria, loves his chef job at Hilton Garden Inn, where the menu features a pasta dish named after him. Despite the language and communication challenges, he is an award-winning member of the Hilton staff. Ade was even featured in an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which highlighted his great work and the support he receives from MEC. He uses a system of notes, gestures, and lip-reading to communicate with his coworkers. Guests especially enjoy his made-to-order omelets, which Ade likes to deliver to the table in person.


    Home Goods

    Looking for a career change, Ellen sought out MEC career guidance and job placement services. Her MEC Occupational Communication Specialist (OCS) coordinated a job try-out at Home Goods and they were very impressed with her job performance, which led to her hire. MEC helped the Home Goods’ managers with Ellen’s on-the-job training and continued to follow-up once a week to make sure that things were going well. Given her success on the job, MEC now only visits twice a month.

    Our Partners

    We work with businesses across Minnesota, from offices to manufacturers to retailers, to find career solutions for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard-of-Hearing people. Our team members work to find opportunities for the people we serve to find a good job, grow as a professional and flourish in their communities.

    Community Partnerships

      OCS Partnership

      The purpose of this new group was to network with other professionals, promote best practices, collaborate on case consultation and participate in training.

      Learn More about the OCS Partnership

    Business Partnerships

      Blue Cross Blue Shield

      Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota knows that Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard-of-Hearing employees can deliver strong results every day. Senior data operator Sue regularly outperforms her work goals and is a key member of Blue Cross’s team. MEC helped with her new job training and with establishing communication systems with coworkers, along with consistent follow-up to ensure success in her job.

      Home Depot

      We take pride in working with employers to find solutions for every employee. Yoonis, who is still learning ASL, immigrated from Somalia in 2000 and is now working as a cashier at Home Depot. His MEC Occupational Communication Specialist (OCS) developed a detailed cashier training book for Yoonis, complete with step-by-step instructions and illustrations. With Yoonis’s success, MEC and Home Depot can re-use the customized training book with others hired as cashiers.

      T.J. Maxx

      A store can’t run without a well-organized inventory, and Trang, Bao and Asho are invaluable for store operations at T.J. Maxx. They worked with MEC to find positions at the store and develop a communications system with staff. Now they process, tag, hang, and prepare clothing for the store floor from their individual work stations in the backroom. MEC also proudly helped Asho obtain American citizenship and we continue to follow up on their progress.

    Contact Us Today

    No matter what your work history, areas of expertise or job interests are, MEC will work with you to grow and develop a career that works for you. Contact us to learn more and get started.

    Please email for more information

    Minnesota Employment Center for People who are Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing (MEC)
    St.Paul Office

    2375 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, MN 55114
    P: 651-265-2337 VP: 651-243-3047

    MEC - Greater Minnesota Offices

    Southern Region:

    421 Central Avenue North, #400,
    Faribault, MN 55021

    West Central Region:

    Rise MEC St. Cloud
    Team Member works remotely

    North East Region:

    Rise MEC Duluth
    Team Member works remotely

    North West Region:

    Rise MEC Moorhead
    Team Member works remotely