EMPOWERING ALL

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EMPOWERING ALL

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A workforce that empowers everyone is good for job seekers as well as job creators.

Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates all of us about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. MDI supports this cause year round by creating self-sufficiency through an inclusive and integrated environment, with nearly half of the workforce comprised of people with disabilities. Read why a workforce that empowers everyone is good for job seekers as well as job creators.

Bryan: Print Lead
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Having a job gives people responsibilities; it allows people to achieve goals and promotes self-worth. I like that everyday I get to work with a broad range of abilities.
Nick: Board of Directors
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People with disabilities have amazing opportunities at MDI. These opportunities are not that different than the goals of everyone else in the world; to contribute, be valued, make viable wages and live lives like everyone else. I wish more people and companies fostered the same approach!
Steve: Production Assembler
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I feel empowered working at an inclusive environment because it has given me more confidence. I've overcome my shyness and learned new work skills. It's all because of MDI's dedicated support staff who understand the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. They provide motivation, support, and structure which has helped me strive to achieve personal goals inside and outside of work.
Dwight: Production Assembler
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When I was staying at home, I felt like I lost my purpose of being. My job (at MDI) has saved my life. It has helped me to re-establish myself in the working world and has given me a purpose to move on with my life again.
Empowering

individual ability

Kathryn: Material Recovery Specialist
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I enjoy working with so many different people and appreciate the support I've received from staff. I've learned so many different jobs while at MDI Hired Hands and like that I get to rotate to different tasks during the week. 
Chris: Goff Public
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My younger brother, Ryan, was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down. When MDI approached the company I work for, Goff Public, with the opportunity to partner on public relations work, I was eager to join the team because it combines my career with one of my top passions (advocating for people with disabilities).  I feel when people think of diversity, they often think of culture, socioeconomic status, and even age. Individuals with disabilities are often forgotten in conversations about diversity.
Denise: Production Assembler
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I love working with individuals from different backgrounds; we all work together as a team! I feel empowered at MDI to learn new work skills and to learn how to deal with my frustrations appropriately. I get to rotate and try new jobs and the employment support staff encourages me to do my best.
Nick: Material Recovery Specialist
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I’ve had the opportunity to try so many new things, which is important to me! I now make more money than I have in the past and get to work in different areas, like conversion (assembling totes). I get to learn new skills and work around different people. 
Del: Production Assembler
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I feel like I don’t stand out here and I draw strength from the courage that other people exhibit on a daily basis. We all bring our skills to the table, use them accordingly and are not judged for our disabilities.
Supporting

self-sufficiency

Jim: Production Assembler
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I’ve worked on and off at MDI for 38 years and have seen that it gives people a chance to work that might not be able to work anywhere else. I've learned new skills and believe in myself to do jobs that I thought I could never do. Plus, I receive employment support that helps me be successful at my job.
Jerry: Hand Assembler
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Everyone has difficult times and anyone may become disabled at any time. I worked at MDI a few years ago, and then left for medical reasons. I recently had the opportunity to come back recently and am glad I did.  I like working here, because it gives me more confidence. I have more self-esteem when I am working and didn’t like not working. There are stereotypes, but the opposite is true. Like the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.
Edwin: Hand Assembler
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I feel it's important for other companies to have an inclusive workforce, because it offers opportunities to people with different abilities that need jobs and want to fit in. At MDI my coworkers make me feel part of a team. Plus, I make money and get to enjoy the things I like to do. 
Karen: Production Assembler
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Having a job at MDI has motivated me, given me initiative, responsibility, and structure for my life. They provide me the support to help me excel at work and in life! I have learned how to make personal goals and how to take better care of myself. Now I have my own apartment again, have routine in my life, and don’t depend on government assistance.
Josh: Material Recovery Specialist
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I like the inclusive environment because it offers different work opportunities, additional benefits that I haven’t been offered in the past, and the ability to work with more people. MDI Hired Hands has empowered me to try several different jobs including conversion, recycling, cleaning crew, and recycling route. I really enjoy how the employment services staff and supervisors are always available for me if I need something.
David: Production Assembler
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Companies are often concerned about how much it costs to make an accommodation, with my experience its little to nothing. I feel empowered working at MDI because it’s helped me to regain strength in my hand and arm that was affected by a stroke.  My job makes me feel like I am contributing back to society.
Vicki: Conversion Supervisor
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It’s important for companies to have an inclusive environment because that is how you find talent and skill. I like what I do because it is something different and keeps me busy…I like to move! I’ve never worked at a place like this before. People have pride in their work and are very proud doing what they do.
Meaningful Employment

for All People

Linda: Print Lead
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Having a job gives people confidence in their ability to have their own income. It allows people with disabilities to show what they can do and brings more awareness to the value that everyone brings.
Tandy: Hand Assembler
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I started as a temp employee, but after about a year and a half, I’ve became a MDI employee. I like working here because my coworkers are all very friendly and respectful and it makes me feel great to have a good job to come to. Everyone should be able to choose where they want to work and my coworkers do a great job!
Angela: Hand Assembler
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An inclusive workforce provides safety, security and confidence to do the job. It empowers employees and enables a person to be productive. My job at MDI instills value, worth and drive that people may not have in other areas.
Mark: BW Tech
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Respect and encouragement are important! Having a job makes people feel confident in reaching their fullest potentials. You can’t look at it as they (person with disabilities) can’t do it, but rather what everyone can do.
Brenda: Hand Assembler
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People with disabilities work and want to work and they do just as hard if not harder that most people! I just recently started at MDI and also work at the Hibbing Daily Tribune. I look forward to learning new skills and tasks, because a lot of people/companies feel people with disabilities can’t or won’t work is untrue.
Dave: Material Hander
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Having an inclusive workforce gives jobs to people with disabilities and puts work in our local community. For over the last 16 years, I’ve really enjoyed what I do and my coworkers are like family. MDI allows people to be self-supporting, which is empowering to everyone. 
Victor: Material Handler
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A job at MDI empowers people because it gives a sense of independence and worth. More companies should have an inclusive workforce because it makes the whole community a better place to live and work.
Richie: Machine Operator
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We all work together to get things done. People with disabilities may need help sometimes, an example needing to sit instead of stand, or need extra time or extra help. Here we have a mixture of all people and we help each other out. It works out great! My job provides income for my son and me and I like that I’ve been here for so long that I’m comfortable doing my job and knowing what I am supposed to do.
Every $1 Donated

To MDI Produces a Social Return on Investment of $4.87

Sara: Machine Operator
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Everyone is different and should be accepted and not stigmatized! I’ve worked at MDI for a few years, and I love my job! It empowers myself and others to feel comfortable in learning skills that are repetitive, mastering those skills, then teaching them new skills at their own pace.  Everyone should be given the same opportunities, as people with disabilities can work, some just may need a little more time to do certain things.
Janelle: Hand Assembler
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I like the Inclusive workplace because it’s great to be fair to everyone that wants a job. And making money is a big motivator for me! I feel empowered having a job at MDI because I get to go places and buy things that would not be possible if I didn’t work there.
Ken: Warehouse Material Handler
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Having a job gives me and others self-worth and the ability to build a structured foundation in life. It’s nice to see the communication of people with and without disabilities….people are happy!
Kay: Production Worker
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It helps to have a place everyone can go to and feel accepted. Not many companies have an inclusive work environment of people with and without disabilities working side by side.
Hunter: Production
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I participated in MDI’s 2018 Work Skills 101 class while at the Hibbing High School. After graduating, MDI offered me a position, which I gladly took!  I’ve liked working, because it empowers me to make money to buy gaming things and gets me out of my house instead of just sitting at home.  I like the inclusive environment because they get to know people they might not otherwise meet. We all work good together as a team!
Dave: Production Worker
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People feel empowered working at MDI because they are able to work and provide for themselves. Its different people, with different abilities, and you get a better understanding of each person.
Barrett: Hand Assembler
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I enjoy seeing how different and how much the same we all are. I worked at MDI many years ago and recently had the opportunity to come back. It's made me feel productive and I like earning a paycheck. I get to work with and meet bunch a different people every day.