‘Subminimum’ Pay for Disabled Workers

Regional newspapers can thrive again if they go back to their community role

I’m writing to correct inaccuracies in a letter to the editor from John Lemus, advocacy coordinator of AtWork! [“People with disabilities: End subminimum wages,” March 28, Opinion]. I am the executive director of Artisans, a Spokane-based nonprofit that provides employment support for individuals with disabilities in Spokane and surrounding area businesses.

Artisans partners with Waste Management, PepsiCo and other community-minded companies to provide meaningful work opportunities for individuals with varying abilities who require additional support for various reasons. For program participants, Artisans provides that additional support and pays minimum wage or better.

At Artisans, we seek to improve our clients’ and their families’ lives by providing the training, structure and satisfaction that comes with employment in our community. Partnerships from companies like Waste Management and PepsiCo enrich lives by making the work experience possible and allows our clients to earn minimum wage or better.

Polly Maxwell, Spokane, executive director, The Artisans

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