On Saturday, June 22, MDI’s Unified Work team provided Special Olympics athletes with a unique opportunity to explore various career paths through virtual reality. This event took place at Stillwater Area High School as part of the Special Olympics Minnesota 2024 Inclusive Work & Resource Fair hosted at the Summer Games.

An Innovative Approach to Career Exploration

This immersive learning experience allowed participants to delve into a wide array of career possibilities and gain inspiration to make informed decisions about their future careers. Athletes chose from numerous career modules across various sectors, including construction, health sciences, information technology, manufacturing, automotive, and more.

MDI, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit manufacturer, employs a workforce where approximately half of the employees are people with disabilities. MDI has maintained a longstanding partnership with Special Olympics Minnesota, underscoring their commitment to inclusive work opportunities.

Unified Work Program: Empowering Individuals with Disabilities

Launched in 2017, MDI’s Unified Work program offers both in-person and virtual classes to equip individuals with disabilities in Minnesota with the soft skills essential for workplace success. Since its inception, over 800 individuals have graduated from a Unified Work Academy class. This program highlights the importance of inclusive work opportunities, a key focus for Special Olympics Minnesota.

The Inclusive Work & Resource Fair provided a platform for job seekers to connect with employers, support organizations, and access resources that facilitate meaningful employment.

About MDI

MDI is a trusted Minnesota manufacturer and nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to providing employment opportunities and services for people with disabilities. We produce high-quality plastic containers for shipping, packing, and storage, and offer exceptional product assembly and packaging services for businesses nationwide, from small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies. By fostering an inclusive workplace, MDI enables employees to build confidence, independence, and purpose, resulting in dedicated employees and satisfied customers. Learn more at mdi.org.

About Special Olympics Minnesota

Since 1973, Special Olympics Minnesota has been championing inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities by offering year-round sports competitions, inclusive healthcare programs, leadership training, and inclusive school initiatives. Special Olympics Minnesota envisions a state where every individual, regardless of ability, has the opportunity to thrive and reach their fullest potential.