Our mission statement is clear: “provide employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired people to maximize their potential for independent living and assist in achieving economic self-support.” In this series, you’ll meet the amazing individuals who MWEB not only exists for, but exists because of their great work in this company. In this installment meet the reason we exist - Meghain Ainsworth:
Meghain, how did you come to work at MWEB?
A counselor at the Commission for the Blind suggested that I consider employment here. I called and made an appointment to talk to someone and MWEB hired me that day! When I first started here I did production work, specifically I started with packaging pencils. At that time we also did a variety of other things, including packaging t-shirts, golf balls, and other items.
What is your role at MWEB?
My current role is receptionist in the front office. Like I said, I started in production, but after a few years decided to go back to school to learn how to use the computer more effectively. MWEB started to offer classes through The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired in our training center. I learned Excel, as well as how to better navigate the web as a blind person, and now I’m taking a leadership class. These classes are all offered onsite at MWEB through The Hadley Institute and I catch up on my class during free time or downtime.
Not only has the training here been a big help, but my past experience was helpful in getting me to where I am today. My background is in medical transcription and medical assisting with a neurosurgeon. I was working 7 days a week producing a wide variety of reports. An opportunity to study to be a physician lead me to Massachusetts. While in school there I started having issues with my eyesight. Because of the continued deterioration of my eyesight I moved to West Michigan and finished college at Western Michigan University studying Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice. At that point, I wanted to go into profiling. I graduated from WMU with degree in Social Work. After graduation, it was difficult finding a job and I had two young children. I focused on raising them until deciding, once they were older, that I wanted to get back into the workforce and that’s when I found MWEB.
How has working at MWEB impacted you professionally?
Working at MWEB has given me the capability to use what I’ve learned. Getting to use my skills has given me confidence and I look forward to learning more and doing more. I’m currently learning a new piece of technology in the office that is helping me to scan to read documents so that I can be even more productive.
How has working at MWEB impacted you personally?
Being able to work for a fair wage in a permanent job has helped me to support myself and my family in ways that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. I’m very proud of the work I’m doing at MWEB.
MidWest Enterprises for the Blind specializes in subcontracting, throughput reduction, lead time reduction, and cost reduction. Our specialties include kitting, packaging, assembly, warehousing and distribution. We are a 501C3 (Not for Profit Organization) and by partnering with us companies add value to the community by providing labor hours for people who are blind. Similar companies in our field include MRC Industries and Goodwill. We do all of this with our up to date ISO 2015 Certification.
MWEB is more than just a job, it’s a community. A place where no idea is too big or too small and there is always someone to help out. You can feel the mission of the company in all that it does and as a member of the team it’s very satisfying. Everyone here is expanding their skills through production efficiency, learning new jobs, and continuing their education.
The company really turns the mission into a reality by providing not just skills and work for employees, but a quality product for customers as well.Gage Campbell, Quality Coordinator
Our mission is to find work and employ blind individuals so that they can become economically independent. The people we employ want to work, be independent and earn their way. But people should know that we are also a manufacturing facility that focuses on quality. We’re ISO certified and customer-focused.Glen Mackey, VP of Operations
My passion is helping people and that's exactly what MWEB is all about. From employing members of the blind community to serving our customers, I couldn't ask for a better place to work.
Jonathan Kraker, VP of Marketing and Business Development
Working here is exciting, because I was able to take my degree and put it to use. The company provided an opportunity to go to DC to participate in National Industries for the Blind’s Public Policy Forum. I meet legislators and advocate for people who are blind. Being a champion for people who are blind has really sparked my interest.
It’s a wonderful investment that the company has made, where employees can learn lifelong skills that they can use in their personal lives, and also apply to their profession.Misty Stenberg, Public Policy Liaison
I believe in what this company provides. Our mission, to provide employment to people who are blind, and to provide quality products and services to our customers, are what motivate me.
I’m proud of working with such great people.Vicky Hickok, Administrative Manager
Our mission statement is to employ people who are blind, but it’s so much more than that. We are giving people an opportunity, that they can not only work and have their independence, but they can also grow and equip themselves. This company will help people develop skills, even if they want to move on to other employment.
When losing my vision, I felt that my options were being narrowed, but MWEB was a new beginning.William Drain, Business Development Coordinator