Employment Advisers: Help Wanted

Midlife career planning is challenging

In addition to her frequent comment that “this is a fun time to do job development,” Marilee Larson of TSE, Inc., said, “I’ve been saying to our employment advisers that we’re only limited by our own energy level. We have to quit at the end of the day because we’re exhausted. It is fun.”

It’s ironic, Larson noted: “Our HR person and I always say, ‘When she has a lot of people for staff it’s harder for us to find jobs. When I’m finding a lot of jobs, it’s harder to find staff.’ The commonality is that employers are looking. People who would become our staff can go anywhere.”

Larson said being TSE employment advisers would be great retirees looking for both “purpose and a paycheck”–”people who have been retired for a little while but are realizing they want more. We do part-time.”

A recent Star-Tribune investigative report noted that more than 15,000 Minnesota workers with disabilities earn less than the minimum wage, thanks to a Federal tax loophole. Larson said she understands the concern. She added, “We’re all on a life journey. For many people that has been a great stepping stone–they’ve gone from that to minimum wage and far above. It’s still a journey, and no one just stalls out when they can do more. We want everyone to be as independent as they can be. It’s a great day around here when someone can do a job trial and go on to become independently employed. It’s a continuum that we’re proud of.”

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