Edition #3: A place where everyone belongs
Empowering Individuals With Idd To Thrive
MOD employs over 300 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It’s an important initiative for us because 81% of adults with IDD do not have a paid job in the community. Over the years, we’ve found these individuals to be incredible contributors to the business and culture driven by an excitement and gratitude for the simple opportunity to work at MOD.
When we set out to create more opportunities for people with IDD in our hiring practices, we partnered with Best Buddies International, the world’s leading organization dedicated to providing social and employment opportunities for individuals with IDD, such as Down syndrome, autism or cerebral palsy. We raise awareness for inclusive hiring practices and help fund the Best Buddies Jobs Program. Best Buddies helps us ensure that every member of our Squad feels included at MOD. And together we hope to inspire other businesses to include this extraordinary population in their hiring practices.
National Restaurant Association Education Foundation
Providing Second Chances And Valuable Opportunities
Since 2008 MOD has been providing second chances, believing that a person’s potential is more important than their past. Each year, 600,000 individuals exit the criminal justice system. Next to housing, a job is one of the predictors of success. For those who are ready and want to work hard, MOD can be a great first job when re-entering society and often a rewarding career.
We’re proud to be the first Impact Partner with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) HOPES Program. Started in 2019, the program is focused on creating pathways from the justice system to jobs in restaurants and hospitality. MOD will be piloting this program with local non-profits, giving needed opportunities for people with barriers to employment.
Nourishing Communities And Providing Pathways For At-Risk Youth
America is facing a crisis with its 5 million youth aged 16-24 who are not in school or working. And in the current climate, the crisis is set to get worse. 70% of the people who work at MOD fall within this at-risk age range. So for MOD, there’s a need and an opportunity to make a difference, train tomorrow’s leaders, and nurture the talent and energy of youth. One way MOD is helping the next generation is by partnering with FareStart, a Seattle-based non-profit with a mission to transform lives, disrupt poverty, and nourish communities through food, life skills, and job training.
Over two years ago, MOD and FareStart launched a youth internship program. By working at a local MOD Pizza, the interns (who have gone through the FareStart Culinary Training Program) spend 200 hours receiving on-the-job training with the MOD Squad and supportive case management through FareStart. The results of the pilot program are encouraging: MOD hired close to 60% for full-time positions, so there’s great excitement to expand the program to positively impact youth in other communities.
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Celebrating Self Expression
At MOD, we like to say, “you be you,” “come as you are,” and “bring your best self to work.” But we also know that no one can be successful in their role if they aren’t accepted for who they are. So we celebrate self-expression and strive to create places where people can truly feel they belong.
Partnering with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates gives us the tools and training needed to make that happen. Out & Equal is the world’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving global workplaces where all people are equal, belong, and thrive. They’ve helped us better support our LGBTQ+ Squad members and foster a workplace and customer experience where all people who walk though MOD’s doors feel a sense of belonging.