Helping Hands

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Helping Hands

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You remember your last big conference, right? You arrived and grabbed a coffee and a tote bag containing the materials you'd refer to throughout the event. As the keynote speaker was being introduced, you dipped into the bag and retrieved the day's agenda, a pen, and a pad of paper, all imprinted with conference branding. A few hundred of your fellow conference participants got identical bags stuffed with the same stack of materials.

How did those hundreds--maybe thousands--of items come together so neatly? The College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS) wondered the same thing about a year ago when it found itself short-handed and needing to prepare for a big conference. They turned to a Twin Cites-based company called MDI that offers professional packaging services to fill in the staffing gap. MDI's competent staff collated and packaged the conference materials and saved the day!

MDI--short for Minnesota Diversified Industries--has been a CCAPS partner ever since. "They do an outstanding job for us," said Sue Borowick, CCAPS executive director. "Their customer service is impeccable, and their work is absolutely top-notch.  We have complete faith in their ability to deliver on their promises, and their values and ours are well aligned. They're an ideal partner!"

What makes this company stand out, on top of their great service? Their social enterprise model. The company's mission is to "serve people with disabilities by offering inclusive employment opportunities and services." What began as Christ Child School for Exceptional Children in 1964 now provides meaningful employment to 160 Minnesotans with emotional, physical, or functional disabilities in Minneapolis, Hibbing, Cohaset, and Grand Rapids. 

"It's as close to community employment as you can get," said MDI CEO Peter McDermott. "We create value for Minnesota and for our employees."

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Source: "Helping Hands." Monique Dubos. University of Minnesota College of Continuing & Professional Studies. Published 1 Oct 2017. Accesses 26 Oct 2017.