Employment Enterprises, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing career development and employment for disabled individuals. We have an enthusiastic and talented workforce ready to be your solution to business challenges in production, staffing, office support, recycling, and in other ways we may not have previously considered.
Established in 1970, Employment Enterprises, Inc., (EEI) is licensed by the Department of Human Services to provide training, employment, and support to individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. EEI works to provide meaningful employment for individuals at competitive wages with a goal that they become fully integrated employees at local businesses.
EEI operates from a 9,600-square-foot facility on the west side of Little Falls, where much of the job training takes place. Here, EEI runs a recycling center where consumers process recyclables, bale cardboard, shred documents, etc. EEI also contracts with local businesses to provide cleaning services, light assembly, and packaging. A relatively recent success story is a partnership with Morey’s Seafood International in Motley where 11 EEI consumers are working 20-25 hours a week at minimum wage. These individuals are fully integrated into the plant, which is our ultimate goal.
For nearly 20 years, EEI operated The Clothes Hanger thrift store in downtown Little Falls to provide skills in retail sales and merchandising. In July 2015, The Clothes Hanger closed and EEI is experimenting with other outlets to generate revenue to help support the programs of EEI in an effort to become less dependent on funding from the Department of Human Services and legislators. Another significant goal is the creation of jobs and training for individuals with disabilities. Currently, we sell specialty products at the Shoppes of Little Falls located in downtown Little Falls.
We serve approximately 125 individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or mental illnesses. In 2016, the people we served received $306,796 in wages (up from $240,952 in 2015).
The success of EEI and, in turn, the people we serve depends on our relationships with local businesses. While we often fill a void in employment, we bring challenges into the workplace with the level of ability of our clients. We have a reputation of bringing people with disabilities into a new work environment and helping them develop new skills and confidence in job performance. Our programming and the services we provide speak to the dignity and respect we have for our consumers. Our goal is to help them achieve personal successes and become contributing members of society.
Beyond support from local businesses and work sites, we have received many donations from supporters and families of our consumers along with grants from the Initiative Foundation, CentraCare Health Foundation, Crow Wing Power, Minnesota Power, Benton Telecommunications, the Laura Jane Musser Fund, and United Way. We are also partnering with Morrison County, the Minnesota Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, and our local school district to develop a program to train and prepare students with disabilities for future success in the workplace. We train task-specific skills such as running a register and pricing as well as soft skills, which include such things as dress-for-success, customer service, and time management.