Columbia woman works for inclusion in job hiring

3 months 2 days 3 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:56:00 AM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
By: Matt Weller, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Kat Cunningham says her business is all about inclusion.

Moresource provides business services such as payroll, human relations consulting and technical support

Cunningham said Moresource was started with one key value.

"Inclusion is about culture," Cunningham said. "It means a different culture, a better culture when you include people who are not like you."

She is an advocate for hiring people with disabilities, both for her company and others. 

"You see a person who shows up on time, comes to work every day, has a smile on their face," Cunningham said. "They are empowered and feel they are contributing. I feel like that will help any business's bottom line."

Cunningham operates Moresource full-time, but said she felt a calling to do something more important.

"You get through college and you find that your career path kinda goes into a different direction. Well then, over the last couple years, I realized I need to get back to where my passion was."

Cunningham credits her sister, who has down syndrome, as her motivation to make a difference for those with disabilities.

"My sister Alica is two years older than me, but much younger in spirit. She lives in a group home. She is a very productive citizen. She makes money and she has her allowance every month that she spends. So, she's a contributing member of our society."

Cunningham decided to create the Mid-Missouri Business Leadership Network, a group designed to connect businesses and applicants with disabilities. The group will work directly with local businesses to assist them in hiring and integrating new employees.

Cunningham said the most important thing is showing businesses her clients are talented, productive workers. 

"We all have different abilities to offer, and so whether it's a visible disability or invisible disability, we all have some challenge," she said. "We all offer different things to our workplace so why not call it different abilities, not disabilities."

The group recently recognized three Columbia business, Arris' Pizza, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen and Lenoir Woods Senior Living for inclusive hiring policies.

"We've all gotten that first opportunity from someone and that's what we try to provide," said Lenoir Woods Dining Services Manager Duane Miller. "Once you provide that opportunity, then it gives people the ability to flourish and kind of break out of where they were and become a new person, in a new area, making new friends."

Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick believes Cunningham's network will serve as a great resource for applicants and businesses who have not hired an employee with a disability before.

"For businesses that have never done this before, having Kat is invaluable," McCormick said. "Kat has stepped into a space that not a lot of people have. She can help show people just how to make this work."

McCormick said the group will help big and small businesses alike.

"It doesn't matter if we are a five person organization or a 500 person organization. This is a scaleable program that all businesses can be a part of."

Cunningham said she's going to keep fighting her fight, because she wants to and needs to.

"I feel like it's my responsibility. It's my purpose."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A visiting MU researcher is working to fight cancer with blueberries - specifically the extract of the fruit.... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 8:06:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some facilities in the state may be required to hang posters with information about human trafficking by the... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 6:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri offered Amazon nearly $2.5 billion in incentives over 10 years in a bid to... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:25:09 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that 80 percent of state students who needed treatment for... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:09:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Campaign finance reports revealed Governor Eric Greitens' campaign operation has been leasing space in the same complex as... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:03:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The annual blood drive for fallen officer Molly Bowden came at a time when collecting blood is vital. ... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 3:56:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- A federal judge sentenced a man to more than 20 years in prison Friday for exploiting several children under... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- While the government heads toward a possible partial shut down many government agencies in mid-Missouri will remain open. ... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:23:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Dean Dohrman, (R-La Monte) has introduced House Bill 1528 to the Missouri Legislature. The bill requires... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Governor Greitens' attorney said Friday the rumors about Greitens possibly resigning hold "zero truth". Rumors of... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 1:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Property restrictions based on race and ethnicity are not a thing of the past, in fact, they can... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 11:37:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — An 18-year-old staying at a Missouri ranch for homeless boys has been charged with killing a woman... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:56:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two Kansas City brothers have been charged with killing a man and then dumping his... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:11:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - "From the early 1900s to the 1960s, the Sharp End business district was a city within a city... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 7:43:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who was thousands of dollars in debt from a drunken driving... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:32:30 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies booked two men into the Boone County Jail on suspicion of various charges, including an apparent plan... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 10:45:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Some students were “striving” for a new learning experience Thursday night. Parents of students with autism gathered... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:22:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriff’s Office is using more than $16,000 seized during a 2013 drug investigation for a... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:08:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
10pm 36°
11pm 35°
12am 34°
1am 34°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00p
Dateline NBC
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Taken
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Black Lightning
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld