Minnetonka senior living facility recognized as outstanding disability employer

Brett Hoffland
Updated: October 16, 2020 01:53 PM
Created: October 15, 2020 04:56 PM

A Minnetonka senior living facility is being recognized as an outstanding disability employer.

It comes at the same time a new survey found that Minneapolis and St. Paul are among the top cities in the country for people with disabilities to live in.


WalletHub ranked the cities sixth and 12th, respectively. The rankings were based on several categories including economy, quality of life and health care.

"I like it a lot, it's a dream job," said Jill Nieman, who works at the Glenn Minnetonka Senior Living Facility.

From doing the dishes, to serving food and drinks, Jill Nieman has plenty of responsibilities at her new job. But it hasn't always been this way for Nieman who has a learning disability. Now, at Unidine at the Glenn Minnetonka Senior Living Facility, she feels at home.

"I have wonderful coworkers and they help with me things I don't understand," Nieman said.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation recognized the Glenn as an outstanding disability employer.

"The whole department that we work with work as a team, we're so excited to have Jill a part of that, a part of our family," said Carol Lukanen, Glenn Minnetonka Dining Services director.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four U.S. adults has a disability that affects major activities.

"Disability is such a wide spectrum. It can mean a lot of different things to a lot of people," said Kara Townsend, vocational director at Chrestomathy INC.

Townsend works for an employment support program called Chrestomathy and helped place Nieman in her new role.

"We have individuals who are working on more independence in their daily life learning how to navigate social and self-regulation," Townsend said.

"I feel very blessed and proud of myself," Nieman said.

"It's why we do it, it's that rewarding feeling of seeing someone reach their goals," Townsend said.

Nieman said her job is rewarding, and far from just another day at work.

"I do enjoy it and I plan on keeping it for a very long time," Nieman said.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. If you or someone who know with a disability is looking for help finding work, click here or here.

To see the entire WalletHub survey visit the link here

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