Michigan Rehabilitation Services recognizes champions who show value of hiring employees who have disabilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 11, 2018                                             

CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112                                                                                      

LANSING, Mich. – A former Michigan Career and Technical Institute student from Allegan County who works as a welder and an Adrian man who earned a cyber security degree were among the honorees today at the annual Champions Award ceremony.

Champions of outstanding commitment to Michigan’s public vocational rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities gained recognition at the annual event.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services collaborated with the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services to recognize employers, partners and customers. MRS presented its 10th annual Champion Awards at an event at the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing.

MRS offices around the state nominated champion candidates. The consistent theme from those nominated was demonstration of the value of hiring and retaining vocational rehabilitation customers.

The event is part of Investing in Abilities Month in October, as proclaimed by Gov. Rick Snyder to encourage employers to hire qualified people with disabilities while focusing on their abilities and increasing the public’s awareness of the contributions and skills of Michigan workers with disabilities. The 2017 MRS Champion Award recipients are:

Customers (including youth) who are motivated and committed to finding and keeping jobs:

  • Keegan Linton, Plainwell, who is a welder at Schupan & Sons in Kalamazoo. Linton studied machine technology at the Michigan Career and Technical Institute, an MRS school in Barry County for adults with disabilities to explore job training in specialized fields.
  • David Mayne, Adrian, a single father of four who became disabled in 2013 and later attended Jackson College, receiving associate degrees in cyber security and general studies and a networking specialist certificate.                                                 

Business partners from large businesses that are working in innovative ways with MRS and its customers:

  • Walgreens – Southfield and Flint.
  • U.S. Forest Service Ottawa National Forest – Ironwood.

Business partners from small businesses that are working in innovative ways with MRS and its customers:

  • Right Brain Brewery – Traverse City.
  • Morley – Saginaw.

Community partners who have demonstrated a strong commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities to take charge of their futures:

  • Lakestate Industries – Escanaba.
  • Sickle Cell Disease Association – Detroit.

Statewide Community Partners who have demonstrated a strong commitment to empower individuals with disabilities to take charge of their futures:

  • Joe Quick – Michigan Works!, Lansing.

MRS assists individuals with disabilities to achieve competitive employment and self-sufficiency. This is the 98th anniversary of the vocational rehabilitation program in Michigan.

For more information about MRS or the Michigan Career and Technical Institute, visit www.michigan.gov/MRS or www.michigan.gov/MCTI.

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