Morningside can help you solve employment needs in your business. We can design jobs to help your business grow and prosper…and improve employee morale.
Some of the (no-cost) services that we offer include: business analysis and job description proposals, employee recruitment, ADA diversity trainings, job coaching a.k.a. employee training & follow-along support. Email us to schedule your first meeting with one of our Job Developers!
Michael LaGrange, Manager, Port Angeles Safeway (store 1492) is an exemplary leader, employing over 22 individuals with disabilities. He has been recognized by the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment in 2017 with a statewide award for his practice of hiring and supporting individuals with disabilities.
Morningside began its partnership with Safeway in 2004 to provide opportunities for supported employment clients to gain work experience and employment. Mike has employed 22 individuals with significant disabilities, 13 of whom are supported by Morningside. Two of the employees we support have been there for over 14 years.
He is a catalyst for change, recognizing that people with disabilities need a voice and employment, and his voice is strong in recognizing the value and normalcy of individuals with disabilities. Having worked with individuals with disabilities in the past, Michael wasn’t new to the prospect of hiring an individual with a disability, but a chance meeting at a martial arts studio gave him a new outlook in terms of how he viewed individuals with disabilities. Michael met Ryan Brooke (left in picture) competing for his black belt and Ryan indicted he was looking for work. Michael said he enjoyed Ryan and thought he was an affable person. He hired him since he had this great personality and thought he would be a good fit in his store. Other staff reacted by questioning this new person. “It struck me that I had a community of employees that viewed people with disabilities as a liability, that we are doing them a favor. That they are not worth a paycheck, that we are carrying them along”. This strengthened Michael’s resolve to look inside the person not the disability and change the culture of his store. He recognized Ryan as someone who would add value to Safeway and the workforce. He has continued this philosophy as he has hired more and more people with disabilities.
“It opened my eyes to how I work with individuals with disabilities. It opened my eyes to the possibilities, how I perceived peoples potential”, he said. Michael continued, “If you manage a token employee then you are going to get a token performance but if you manage a person and ask them to do their best and get the best out of them then you have a good employee. There is an inherent joy in giving a person with a disability an opportunity that you know wouldn’t be there without you.”
Michael said, “This is a segment of our population that has been neglected and underrepresented in our workforce. They have historically been underutilized, marginalized and minimalized.” Michael is a strong advocate for people with disabilities.
Washington State, Department of Corrections saw the potential in a long term employee. Devon Schrum, Director of Reentry and Norm Caldwell, Grievance Program Manager supervise Diana Jorgenson preforming a myriad of tasks in their office. Diana has worked at the Department of Corrections of 15 years and loves her job. She verifies data bases to ensure document integrity. She delivers mail and other assorted jobs to assist the department. She is a valued employee and positive co-worker to her teammates. (see video below)