GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A West Michigan nonprofit is helping to secure employment for adults with special needs.
At the age of 26, adults with special needs are officially out of Michigan's educational system. However, that does not stop the need for routine that steady employment can provide. Beyond26 is an organization working to place individuals with disabilities with job and volunteer opportunities that foster growth and teamwork.
Most recently, Beyond26 has created a "microbusiness" with four job seekers working in tandem with West Michigan Document Shredding. 13 ON YOUR SIDE's Kristin Mazur caught up with the Beyond26's Executive Director Dirk Bakhuyzen and the rest of the team to see how this job venture is benefiting the Beyond26 participants.
The participants shred paper at Beyond26's paper drop-off site located at 1505 Steele Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, then the paper is picked up by West Michigan Document Shredding each week and recycled. The participants receive a monthly stipend for their work.
The cost for shredding through Beyond26 is about $1 per pound and all the proceeds from the operation go back into the organization, to help more adults with special needs find similar opportunities.
According to the Beyond26 website, the nonprofit is looking for other local businesses that can provide secure employment and want to further develop their inclusion efforts. The organization is also looking for job coaches to help job seekers. A good candidate for job coaching at Beyond26 is someone with work experience, retirees, college students looking for internship opportunities, and in general, anyone with a patient and "loving heart."
For more information about Beyond26, how you can get paper shredded, or how to get involved or donate, visit www.beyondtwentysix.org.
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