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Standing For Houston: Pizza shop employs people with special needs

The pizzeria is making sure young people with disabilities get the same opportunities for employment as everyone else.

HOUSTON — MOD Pizza has opened several locations across town and the company is showing what it means to Stand for Houston. It prioritizes hiring people with special needs. 

The pizzeria teams up with the Monarch School and the Non Pareil Institute here in Houston to ensure young people with disabilities get the same opportunities for employment as everyone else.

At the San Felipe location in the Galleria, 11 folks with disabilities are on the staff there. That's one third of all employees. 

They say it can be tough to get an opportunity to work especially in a restaurant. The first job gets their foot in the door and helps launch a possible career. 

"MOD pizza is a perfect fit," said Andrew Doebbler. 

Dmitri Whisenhunt started at MOD doing dishes. He now operates the register on Friday night. He says this job is a stepping stone for him and has showed him what being in the workforce is like. 

RELATED: 'It gives them purpose': Nonprofit organization provides jobs for people with disabilities

General Manager Mark Foley hired Whisenhunt and Doebbler. 

"They can come here, work hard and the sky's the limit," said Foley.

Foley says his employees are so grateful for the opportunity and work incredibly hard to keep improving on the job. 

MOD Pizza also employs former felons and helps get them back on their feet, for more on that story check out this link. 

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