MDI is adding 200 workers after landing $15 million postal service contract

MDI, the light-manufacturer that specializes in mainstreaming people with disabilities, is adding what soon will be 200 contract jobs at $15 an hour to help meet unprecedented mail-in voting expected by the U.S. Postal Service.

MDI got a contract in August to produce 2 million plastic totes and one-million mail trays by November for the postal service, its largest customer.

“We are thrilled to provide new job opportunities at our Grand Rapids, Cohasset, Hibbing and Minneapolis facilities at a time when the employment rate for people with disabilities is less than one third as compared to people without disabilities,” said Jeanne Eglinton, director of employment services at MDI.

Typically, about half of MDI’s workers are people with disabilities CEO Peter McDermott said MDI has been unable to meet that standard in the rush to add about 135 of the 200 temporary jobs, some of which could become permanent.

MDI is often a first job for people who don’t have a work history. MDI also hires those whose careers were interrupted by chemical dependency and prison backgrounds.

“We’ve got to get this done by the first week in November,” McDermott said. “We’re finding good people who want $15 an hour. And we need some more in Hibbing, Grand Rapids and Cohasset, about seven miles away. We hope to keep some of these folks, but probably not all of them.”

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Glad to see people with disabilities being employed.