ProAct VP Kim Feller kicked off the first meeting of the ProAct Business Partner Network, a group of committed employers that seeks to increase opportunities for people with disabilities and grow connections between their businesses and ProAct.

“We want to diversify the workforce,” said Feller to a gathering of business reps. “That’s the key. The workforce needs these individuals.”

Over a continental breakfast in Eagan, representatives from Travelers Insurance, the Hastings YMCA, Walgreens, Dick’s Sanitation and others learned more about ProAct’s core services from Feller and ProAct managers.

Feller said there’s a continual need for work assessment sites where individuals can try jobs. Independent and group employment opportunities are also highly sought after.

One of the goals is to expand the group’s reach to other businesses. The council brainstormed to develop a vision and strategy to move forward.

“Our stock and trade is working with businesses,” said CEO Steve Ditschler. “And, independent employment is the gold standard.”