Supported Employment

Supported Employment (SE) is a CARF-accredited program designed to assist people in finding and successfully maintaining work outside of Ability Building Center in cooperation with community businesses. Many participants are on the path to independent placement – either ABC-paid or employer-paid work – but are working in groups or on crews while developing essential skills.

In the Supported Employment program, a client’s job may resemble one of these:

  • Male and female locker room attendants work with minimal ABC staff supervision at Mayo Clinic’s Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center and maintain the locker rooms throughout the day. The fitness center staff provides most of the support necessary for these individuals to succeed.
  • ABC-supervised mobile custodial crews visit businesses such as Warners’ Stellian Appliances, the Resurrection Lutheran Church, The Salvation Army, the Minnesota Autism Center, and a number of other locations. Crewmembers build skills as they get support and structure from their coaches, other members of the crew, and employees at the businesses they visit.
  • A team provides electronics testing, packaging, and general assembly at Benchmark Electronics. Team members are paid by ABC, but supervised and naturally supported by Benchmark staff.
  • Independent teams provide laundry room services at the Rochester Athletic Club and Guest House Hotel. ABC coaching and supervision is minimal, because the business provides natural supports.
  • A team of Document Scanning Specialists works five days a week at a Mayo Clinic support center. With their ABC Job Coach to support them, they complete a digital archive of Mayo Clinic historical photographs, books, and other materials. Members of this team learn and refine technology-based skills, such as working with Adobe Photoshop, adhering to International metadata standards, and using the Internet to find answers and check facts.

The support a participant gets from his or her ABC Job Coach and fellow crewmembers can be the key to achieving the highest level of independence and success. Some participants may already have the necessary work and social skills, but still benefit from monthly “check-ins” and semi-annual team meetings.

As with all of ABC’s programs, Supported Employment is staffed by professionals dedicated to a person-centered, team-based approach to ensure continued success. Each client’s team may include family, guardians, a social worker, medical or mental health providers, residential staff, an ABC Job Coach and Program Coordinator, and most importantly, the clients themselves.


Sarah Timmerman
Phone: (507) 535-7137
Fax: (507) 281-6270