A Message of Hope from Your President-Elect

June 1, 2020

"Happy Monday!"

How often have you typed that in an email, or said it to a colleague? It has become something often said without thinking.

After typing that in a few emails this morning, I had to step back for a moment; for it is NOT a happy Monday for many of us, especially for we Minnesotans who work and live here in the Twin Cities metro area.

While my wife and I live ju-u-u-u-st north of most of the events and destruction that occurred over the last few days, we were close enough to have to be ready to water down our roof in case of wind-swept embers. We had to remain vigilant and watch for anyone that didn’t appear to belong in our community, a task fraught with uncertainty and fear. We watched and listened breathlessly for news about people we love who were affected more directly, some of whom live right in the center of it all. We’ve read news of landmarks and favorite businesses damaged or destroyed, and absorbed the torrent of news and pictures of families left without resources, desperately needed services, or the ability to maintain even a basic quality of life.

That is why I implore everyone to remember the powerful resource we can ALL leverage to have a positive impact on our own sense of well-being as well as that of those around us –  community.

The Minneapolis Transition School and the businesses and resources supporting the community they serve were significantly affected. Our colleagues in St. Paul and North and South Minneapolis saw much of the activity come right to their doorsteps. And it is hard to know the full degree to which it has had an impact on our allies in private non-profits and related services.

But these events affect ALL of us in some way, whether directly, or indirectly through those we serve. Who knows how any of the people that depend on us are struggling to figure out where to get groceries or needed medical care today? How many will be affected by delays in services dependent on timely mail delivery? Did anyone suffer over the weekend because the law enforcement or medical care they needed was delayed while those critical services were allocated elsewhere?

However, it is a happy Monday after all - because at the same time we are all struggling with the trauma of what we have seen, heard or otherwise experienced, what we also saw this weekend was a triumph of the human spirit.  We saw people from all walks of life, all ethnicities, political ideologies, ages, economic backgrounds, etc., pull together to clean up, to gather and distribute resources to the neighborhoods affected, and to remind each other what can, and usually does, unite us all: Community. Empathy and respect for our fellow humans.

We are the best we can be when we recognize and are sensitive to the plights of others as if we were facing those challenges ourselves, for it motivates us, it taps into that well of generosity and selflessness that I believe anyone can find in themselves, if they look hard enough.

This message is free from political themes or any comments about the seminal event from which all this turmoil has developed because it is a timeless message, one of hope, a rallying cry for all of us to be there for those we serve - and for each other. Many of us are struggling to stay focused today because of how close to home the weekend’s events hit. Some may be trying to get status updates from from loved ones directly affected. Still others are simply working to manage the emotional impact of it all. What affects one of us affects all of us, and we know the VRS community has the power to affect lives for the better. Let’s go the extra mile and redouble our efforts to be there for those we serve during this challenging time.

And let’s not forget to be there for each other. This is OUR community, and we will always be stronger together.

Stay strong and rock on!

Frank Herd
NRAJPD President-Elect

The bigger we are, the stronger we are.

Be Proud - Join NRA and JPD.

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The Job Placement & Development division is one of the largest divisions of the National Rehabilitation Association, serving individuals and organizations whose efforts are directed toward career development and employment of persons with disabilities.

JPD seeks to enhance these efforts by:

Exchanging ideas

Increasing understanding

Identifying goals

Cooperative action

These efforts are approached on a nationwide basis by a strong and growing JPD national, regional, and state network.

Membership Eligibility

Membership is open to any person or group who is a member of the National Rehabilitation Association and is interested in enhancing the lives of persons with disabilities are involved in the job placement process.

 Our Purpose   

The purpose of the National Rehabilitation Association of Job Placement & Development is to advance employment opportunities for all individuals with disabilities by: Encouraging, supporting and promoting job placement activities. Promoting wider understanding and vocational acceptance of individuals with disabilities. Encouraging job placement considerations throughout rehabilitation process. Fostering research and publication of articles on the philosophy, techniques and experience in selective job placement. Developing professionals standards for persons and facilities engaged in placement of individuals with disabilities. Conducting meeting, seminars and clinics to improve the capabilities of effectiveness of those engaged on selective job placement. Developing professional training opportunities for all persons directly in selective placement of individuals with disabilities. Attracting people with interest and initiative into the field of selective job placement, elevating the discipline in stature, and encouraging nondiscrimination impedes the employment of individuals with disabilities.


JPD's History within NRA

    Read more about our history by downloading the printable version below