K.E.E.P. Program: Help Increase Independence and Quality of Life for Minot Citizens

Posted: Apr 24 2017
Kalix provides support services and employment opportunities to help increase independence and the quality of life for people with disabilities. The mission of Kalix is to support privacy, dignity, and purpose for all people. For over 30 years, Kalix has been assisting Minot businesses that employ people with disabilities. In April 2016, Kalix launched the Kalix Employer/Employee Partnership (K.E.E.P.) Program, which partners with local businesses to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Through a 3 year grant from the North Dakota Vocation Rehabilitation, Kalix started the K.E.E.P. Program, which focuses on individuals who require more support. Kalix is able to provide more support for these individuals by spending extra time with them, spending more time with a business to determine what their needs are, and matching a qualified employee with the particular needs of a business. The grant started in October 2015, and Kalix has been developing the program and training staff since then. Placement for the program takes quite a bit of time, starting with an intensive discovery process where staff work at learning about a person’s skills, interests, talents, and any potential barriers. Kalix has placed three people in community employment through the grant program so far, they are currently working with six more candidates as well. Kalix’s goal is sixteen placements within a three year period.
“The benefits for the employee are huge. It’s so much more than a paycheck, it allows individuals to be included in regular life activities and interact with people,” explained Borgi Beeler, President/CEO of Kalix.  Kalix provides hands-on training with a job coach, who helps the employee blend in and doesn’t draw attention to their disability. The job coach typically provides intensive training until the employee feels comfortable, then gradually starts to step back. K.E.E.P. provides job analysis, customized job creation, on the job training, employer education, and follow-up support.
Equally important, K.E.E.P. offers numerous benefits for the business. Some of these include access to a labor force with unique talents, overall lowered costs, making the world a better place, business insights, positive impact on employee attitudes, and more. Kalix provides various support to employers, such as prescreening and referral of qualified potential employees, on-site skill training and support, point of contact for consultation on strategies for supervising qualified employees, conflict resolution, and additional tasks.
Kalix is actively pursuing partnerships with local businesses who share Kalix’s vision that people with disabilities can accomplish great things with the right support. If your business welcomes diversity, is willing to try something new, and is able to allow a job coach to be on-site; then your business fits the criteria to be a K.E.E.P. partner.  Kalix currently partners with 30 Minot businesses, which showcases the support of the Minot business community.
To request more information or set up an appointment with Kalix staff regarding the K.E.E.P. Program, call 701.852.1014 and ask for KEEP or email Kalix at KEEP@kalixnd.org.