During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we’re saluting people who have stepped ahead, above and beyond in the name of equitable opportunity and employment for people with disabilities.

In a time of worker shortages and employment uncertainty, actively attracting and hiring people with disabilities is a way to recruit a dedicated
workforce, boost DEI efforts that benefit everyone, and enhance overall business success by adding different perspectives and ways of thinking.

Meet Jared Perez

MDI location: Minneapolis
Hometown: Minneapolis
Job title: Hand assembler
Started working at MDI: 2021

Testing shingles for roofing is no easy task. It requires great precision, memory, self-sufficiency and attention to detail. During his short time with MDI, 24-year-old Jared Perez has become one of MDI’s most reliable shingle testers – a rare, yet very important, skill.

“Jared is one of just a few employees at MDI in Minneapolis who can work with shingles. He’s a fast learner who excels at everything he does,” said Rhea Koehler, employment coordinator at MDI. “He is one of those people who checks every box on the ‘employee wish list.’ We are lucky to have him.”

Since Jared started at MDI in 2021, he has grown in many ways. His social skills have improved, making it easier to interact with people outside of work. His eye for details has become keener, which has made him more observant. And most importantly, his job at MDI has provided a major boost to his overall confidence.

“My confidence was pretty low before I started working at MDI. It’s getting better because I have a job that helps me build confidence,” said Jared. “My coworkers often praise me for being a fast learner and hard worker. That feedback helps me gain confidence.”

“MDI is a great place to work because everyone is friendly and it’s a comfortable working environment,” added Jared. “I love my job and my coworkers.”

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