3 reasons to provide a career skills program for your employees

If COVID-19 has proven anything, it’s just how valuable employees are. No matter the organization, it is the employees and their creativity, resiliency and strength that propel organizations forward.

This is a cornerstone value at MDI. As a nonprofit manufacturer, we know that offering an inclusive workplace that puts our people first results in dedicated employees and satisfied customers. With nearly half of our employees being people with disabilities, we offer a range of employee support services, both at work and sometimes outside of work.

One of those services is our Unified Work Academy, which provides the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Participants learn essential career building skills like how to deliver their elevator pitch, communicate with confidence, and strengthen skills for succeeding in the workplace, including attitude, grit, punctuality, communication, leadership, initiative, work ethic, teamwork and critical thinking. More than 300 employees have graduated from our classes and have documented successes because of it. In fact, it has become so popular with employees of all abilities that we now offer it to other organizations, companies and members of the community.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider this program for your company.

1. Developing your people benefits your whole organization.

Investing in our people is investing in our business. Survey results from our Unified Work Academy showed that 71% of participants identified improvements in their own communication skills, and 100% of participants’ supervisors noted improvements in communication, teamwork, and attitude. This leads to higher quality work products and satisfied customers.

2. Few entry level workers (as well as people with disabilities, both visible and not) get opportunities to participate in soft skills training and development. 

For many, getting the opportunity to sit in on a webinar, or participate in a training is a regular occurrence. However, less than half of the participants in our program have had the chance to participate in a development opportunity prior to MDI’s Unified Work Academy training. Equal access to these opportunities, regardless of tenure or ability, is crucial to building a strong workforce.

3. Providing this level of training benefits the entire workforce. 

When we give people the opportunity to grow and improve on skills such as communication, critical thinking and teamwork, we are growing and developing the workforce overall. People with disabilities are often overlooked when it comes to employment, but they are an untapped workforce that can bring tremendous value to an organization, especially when given the tools to succeed.

MDI is excited to offer this training to anyone – from sharing the curriculum, to training your trainers, to hosting the program for you (we’ve successfully transitioned the training to be virtual during COVID-19). Our goal is to positively impact the lives of people in our community who deserve the confidence and independence that comes with meaningful employment.

To learn more or discuss Unified Work Academy for your organization, feel free to reach out via email: Jeanne.Eglinton@mdi.org.