PDI-J The Emerging World of Employment: The Time is Now to Hire People with Disabilities
About Karen Quammen
Karen is currently the Senior Director at The Arc of Minnesota where her she is working on development, directing statewide programming and overseeing special events and projects. The Arc of Minnesota’s mission is to provide support and advocate for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families. Prior to coming to The Arc of Minnesota, Karen worked as a Project Consultant at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for Pathways to Employment. Karen worked on infusing mentoring, internships, and employment into her work to effect permanent change in employment opportunities and positive outcomes for people with disabilities.
Karen is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking and has led the efforts for Disability Mentoring Day in Minnesota since 2004. In 2009, the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota hosted Disability Mentoring Day for over 1000 participants including 65 employers. Minnesota was selected to be the National Kick off Site for the 10th Anniversary of DMD because of the collaborative effort of a team that was led by Karen to build a year round effort that engages business and students with disabilities.
Karen spent eighteen years working at Medtronic where she was instrumental in the development of a network group for parents of children with disabilities, an employee resource group for employees with disabilities and a mentoring program for students with disabilities. Karen is the recipient of the Minnesota State Council for Disabilities Leadership Award; Medtronic’s Chief Information Officer’s Extreme Award and in 2006 received one of four global Medtronic Outstanding Initiative Awards for introducing new and novel approaches to inclusion to the company.
Karen is also a member of Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities, past President of the Minnesota Business Leadership Network., past Executive Board member of the USBLN Board, former Student Advisory Coordinator for the USBLN and a Member of the National Spinal Cord Injury Business Advisory Council.