Human Resources, Manufacturing, and Retail

West Michigan employers rate among Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion

September 1, 2017
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Meijer store exterior
Walker-based Meijer, which operates more than 245 stores, began in 1938 when barber Hendrik Meijer purchased $328.76 worth of merchandise on credit to serve customers during the Great Depression. Courtesy Meijer

A pair of companies in the region have been recognized for their policies and practices aimed at welcoming and supporting workers with disabilities.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation and Grand Rapids-based Meijer have been recognized by the US Business Leadership Network and the American Association of People with Disabilities as one of the 2017 Disability Equality Index, or DEI, Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.

This is the third year for the DEI ranking and the first year Meijer and Whirlpool have made the list.

Whirlpool was one of 68 companies nationwide to receive a score of 100, which means that the company adheres to most of the leading disability inclusion practices.

Meijer was one of 19 companies to receive a score of 90, which means the company is putting substantial effort into inclusion.

Any company that scores 80 or higher on the DEI is eligible to be named a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.

“This is a significant achievement for our company,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. “We have worked hard to diversify our workforce and create a culture where everyone is part of one team.”

The awards were presented during the USBLN annual conference in Orlando, Florida.


Via a voluntary 57-page survey sent to Fortune 1000 companies and AmLaw 200 law firms, the DEI evaluates companies on four criteria: culture and leadership; enterprise-wide access; employment practices (including benefits, recruitment, education, retention, advancement and accommodations); and community engagement and support services.

The companies participating in the 2017 DEI represent 21 sectors of the American economy and have a total U.S. workforce of about 7.2-million workers, or about 5 percent of all American workers.

Other Michigan companies on the list

General Motors (score of 100)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (100)

DTE Energy (100)

The Dow Chemical Company (100)

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