Wal Mart removes greeter position. What’s next for disabled workers at other local businesses?

Local News

Retail-giant Wal Mart is facing backlash this month after a decision to trade its greeter position for one that requires heavy lifting. That position is typically for people with developmental disabilities. 

Wal Mart says it is trying to find them another position. In the meantime, greeters in our area are without a job.

Right now, EmployAbility is working with local Wal Mart employees who lost their jobs. 

Despite the changes, the organization says more than 150 businesses in the area — including Edwards Interiors — will keep their positions for people with developmental disabilities.

Lindsey Kussow, for example, makes accounting work at Edwards Interiors seamless. “This is a process that is audited,” said Mani Resendes, her manager. “We have zero defects in that department because of Lindsey. She grew into that position, understood that position and eventually took it over with full responsibility.” 

Kussow did it, despite living with a developmental disability. The company Kussow works for builds plane interiors. It hired seven others like her. 

“They’re no different than anyone else,” said Resendes. “You hire someone, you train them to meet expectation. They meet expectation forever more. There’s no difference.” 

More than 150 businesses in the Coastal Empire have hired people with developmental disabilities. EmployAbility is the cog that trains and helps them find jobs. 

“People with disabilities traditionally have a much lower employment opportunity and yet I think our mission is making employers aware of how great an employee can be,” said Dr. Ken Boyd, executive director at EmployAbility.

Now Boyd worries more corporations will follow Wal Mart and get rid of positions for people with disabilities. The fight to make sure that doesn’t happen again starts now. 

“They should hire them because they add value to the workforce immediately. We are going to come in and work with that employer. They are going to go into a position that the employer needs,” said Boyd.

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