MSU program helps groups in difficulty find employment


Michigan State University helps those who cannot find a job as easily because of a disability or a criminal record to find employment. It is the only program in Michigan to truly reach out and help both people with disabilities and those with a criminal history.

The pandemic has made it exceptionally difficult for people to find jobs, so two MSU researchers came 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 serve the general public for people trying to find jobs,” Hickox told WILX. “But for people with disabilities or with a criminal record, there are additional circumstances they face and need to overcome.”

Hoping to create a more diverse workplace, Hickox and Sung set out to help people with disabilities and with a history overcome these barriers. Mirna Montoya was one of those clients who opened up and talked about the program.

“This program has helped me to open up more to my peers and to learn from work experiences and it has helped me to have more confidence 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?

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

At present, the MSU clinic is online only. However, they hope to do so in person. The Michigan Employment Clinic website can be found here for more information.

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