GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Recognizing its dedication to the employment of persons with disabilities, United Cerebral Palsy on Thursday named Meijer “Employer of the Year.” The 2014 Award for Excellence, announced at UCP’s Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn., demonstrates the retailer’s steadfast commitment to diversity while helping people with disabilities reach their full potential through meaningful employment at Meijer.
From its company-wide initiative to recruit qualified individuals with disabilities for its manufacturing and distribution network to its ongoing partnerships with vocational rehabilitation organizations to effectively source candidates with disabilities, Meijer was recognized for its efforts in fostering an environment where all employees are treated equally and given the tools they need to succeed.
“We are proud to be recognized by United Cerebral Palsy and even prouder that we work every day to focus on what people can do, rather than what they cannot do,” said Rick Keyes, EVP supply chain operations and manufacturing Meijer. “In creating a culture of inclusion and diversity, we strive to see everyone as part of one team and build on team member strengths. In our experience, the results within our distribution network have been fantastic.”
“The Awards for Excellence are a way for UCP to recognize the incredible work that our affiliates, friends and partners do to support our mission, and we are thrilled to honor such an extraordinary group this year,” said Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “Meijer in particular demonstrates a commitment to making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities through their comprehensive employment programs. For fostering an environment where all employees are treated equally and given the tools they need to succeed, we are proud to honor Meijer with the 2014 Employer of the Year Award.”
In setting a precedent for all workers to respect diversity and to be mindful of disabilities, Keyes said one key to the company’s success is that Meijer provides training to team leaders and supervisors on working with employees with a disability. The company actively seeks partnership with local and state vocational rehabilitation organizations and is an active voice in discussions around Disability Policy Reform for the state of Michigan to create more opportunities for persons with disabilities.