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Minnesota's MDI expands with model that mainstreams workers with disabilities

CEO Peter McDermott of Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI) wasn’t looking for this job.

However, he took over the failing contract manufacturer nearly a decade ago from a dismissed manager and turned it into a growth company of 525 employees, including nearly half with developmental disabilities. 

MDI has plants in northeast Minneapolis, Hibbing, Grand Rapids and Cohasset.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had and I’...

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Segregation and inequality persist among Minnesotans with disabilities, study says

Nineteen years after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling opened the doors to integration, thousands of Minnesotans with disabilities continue to live and work in segregated settings that keep them in poverty and limit their daily autonomy.

These are among the principal findings of the state’s first comprehensive survey examining the quality of...

Scene + Heard: Ability Bash

Star Tribune Scene + Heard: Ability Bash
Guests at the Ability Bash were treated to gourmet cuisine and live music in the Solar Arts Building in northeast Minneapolis. The evening also featured employees and beneficiaries of Minneapolis-based nonprofit MDI, originally Minnesota Diversified Industries. The 50-year-old light manufacturer and packager employs more than 300 workers, about half of whom have disabilities. The...

Star Tribune Features our Expansion in Northern Minnesota

"MDI will break ground on a new plant near Hibbing, Minn., as part of a $9 million expansion of its northern Minnesota operations.

The company recently purchased land for the new 35,000-square-foot plant that will replace MDI's existing 100-year-old building in Hibbing and will cost more than $5 million. The groundbreaking is scheduled for early June....."

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