Valuable yet Hard to Find

Remember how excited you were when you got your very first job as a kid and started earning your own money?
Employment opportunities for students with disabilities are not always easy to find and don’t always go smoothly because the employer may not have an understanding of how to work with someone with a disability or it may not be a good job match.

MDI, a social enterprise, offers a solution for students with its mission to serve people with disabilities by offering inclusive employment opportunities and services. MDI is collaborating with Greenway High School Special Education Department and Vocational Rehabilitation Services to provide work experience opportunities to Kaden Murray and Victoria Johns.

Kaden and Victoria are seniors from Greenway and started working at MDI Grand Rapids at the end of April. They are working in the conversion department assisting with the assembly of totes and trays and will finish their assignment near the end of May.  The students enjoy the work at MDI and were very excited when they got their first paycheck.

Providing work opportunities is emphasized in the State’s draft Olmstead Plan. MDI hopes to offer more paid work experience opportunities to students in the coming year, expanding these efforts to all of its four plants and the surrounding schools. This collaboration gives more students the opportunity to gain valuable experience and who knows, maybe a full time job.