Michigan State University is helping those who can't find jobs as easily due to disabilities and or criminal records, find jobs. This is the only program in Michigan to actually reach out and help both the disabled and those with a criminal past.

The pandemic made it exceptionally harder for people to find jobs, so two MSU researchers grouped together to form the Michigan Employment Clinic.

Stacy Hickox is one of the founders of the programs, as well as a professor at MSU. Her colleague, Dr. Connie Sung also helped launch this program.

“Places like Michigan Works serves the general public for people who are trying to find a job,” Hickox told WILX. “But for people with disabilities or a criminal record, there’s some additional circumstances that they face that they have to overcome.”

In hopes to create a more diverse workplace, Hickox and Sung set out to help those with disabilities and a past, overcome those barriers. Mirna Montoya is one of those clients, who opened up and talked about the program.

“This program has helped me open up more to my peers and learning about work experiences and it has helped me become more confident in myself,” Montoya told WILX. “And to be aware that having a disability doesn’t affect us, but we just have different ways of learning.”

How does the clinic work?

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Basically, anyone with a disability or past can jump onto a zoom call. Then, you share the information you want that will be relevant for a new job. Resume preparation, interview practices as well as job leads are all a part of the clinic.

At the current time, the MSU Clinic is only online. However, they do hope to make it in person. The Michigan Employment Clinic website can be found here for more information.

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