Michigan is facing a labor shortage, and it doesn’t seem like it will be going away anytime soon.
However, Grand Traverse Industries is helping businesses and organizations fill empty positions.
The organization provides job training and supported employment services for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“Our clients love to work. They get up, and they’re so excited. It helps them gain independence, feel valued, respected and a part of the community,” said Sue Brown, Director of Operations for Grand Traverse Industries.
Since the labor shortage, more businesses and organizations have been looking to GTI for help.
Interlochen Center for the Arts has five hard-working Grand Traverse Industries clients.
“In this day and age, when labor is really tight, they provide a service that we couldn’t operate without them,” said Paul Hickman, Director of Dining Services at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
“Our clients are there every day. We don’t have an employee that’s calling in sick. They just love going and doing their jobs,” explained Brown.
Linda McDonald and Betsy Angus work in the school’s cafeteria.
“I serve the students. I like to serve. Sometimes they tell me thank you, and I get like a small portion for them,” said Betsy Angus, a Client of Grand Traverse Industries
“The students are very nice. Sometimes it depends on the day. We tell them to have a good day,” said Linda McDonald, a Client of Grand Traverse Industries.
When the workday is done, GTI clients not only walk away with a paycheck but help fill vital roles and get a sense of independence.
“It’s been awesome. They provide not only a service but their attitude and the way they present themselves. The kids love them, and my staff really enjoy working with them,” explained Hickman.
Some other places Grand Traverse Industries clients work is at the Grand Traverse Pie Company, Shanty Creek and Food for Thought.