Met-South award

Pictured, from left, are Jo Bonner, Met-South owners Don and Cathy Jesse, and Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw.

Hanceville-based Met-South Inc. earned the Small Business Employer of the Year Award at the Gordon Persons Building in Montgomery recently. The event recognizes the achievements of employees with disabilities, businesses and vocational rehabilitation professionals.

Met-South is owned by Don and Cathy Jesse and is a precision machine manufacturer of tools, jigs, and purpose-made production equipment used by automotive suppliers.

The ceremony was conducted by the Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, a program of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS).

The honorees have earned top accolades in their respective categories, including large- and small-business employer of the year, partnership, youth leadership, media, student, educator, professional and large- and small-business employee of the year.

“To do that, it’s going to take a village,” she said. “It’s going to take all of us breaking down obstacles and stigmas so that we can help employers know that we have individuals that are valued and have value to them and their companies. We can only do that with your help.”

In October, local committees from around the state recognized top individuals and businesses in their respective areas during “National Disability Employment Awareness Month” awards ceremonies. The state winners were chosen from these local winners in a dozen distinct categories following the local committee nominee submissions.

The Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities was created in the late 1940s by Gov. Jim Folsom as a response to veterans with disabilities who returned home and found no work available. Since that time, many individuals with disabilities, both veterans and civilians, have received the benefit of activities of the Governor’s Committee. The committee coordinates a network of local volunteer groups throughout the state and works closely with ADRS staff to develop employment opportunities and raise awareness of the needs and rights of Alabamians with disabilities.

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