Minnesota retail store helps train and employ people with disabilities

Enterprise Market in Little Falls isn’t a typical retail store.

First, most of the goods are 50 percent off, thanks to truckload sales and other bargains. More importantly, however, is the work behind the scenes — all of the store’s labeling, pricing, stocking and shelves is done by people with disabilities, providing valuable job training, experience and self-sustaining earning potential.

“Most of my career has been working with people with disabilities,” Mayer said.

The Market is a win-win situation for both customers and the individuals who receive job training at the Market. Shoppers benefit from low prices on a huge variety of merchandise. Store employees, in turn, have valuable opportunity for skill-building in customer service, retail and other areas.

“There’s a variety of things people we support can do,” Mayer said.

Mayer said the best part of her job is getting to make a difference every day in the lives of folks who might otherwise be unemployed and isolated from the community.

“My favorite part is seeing what people can do and really giving them a chance to do their part,” Mayer said. “Some days when I think I can’t be here anymore, I turn around and someone is so thankful. It makes it all worth it.”

Enterprise Market is part of a larger organization, Employment Enterprises, Inc. which helps about 98 people in the Little Falls area, according to its website, and has other business throughout Morrison County.

This story originally appeared in the Morrison County Recorder. You can read the full version here.

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