WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Katie Murdoch looks forward to coming to work.
She recently landed her first job at a bakery and is constantly discovering that she has a real talent in the kitchen.
“I love learning new things,” she said.
She’s the latest employee at Bespoke Confections -- a bakery owned by Jiliana Dulaney.
Dulaney not only runs the bakery, but she is also a job coach.
In that role, she has seen some troubling situations in the workforce.
“We've had a lot of companies that are just not OK with hiring someone with a disability. They won't come out and say that, but we've had a lot of not so great experiences,” Murdoch.
She decided to use her business to make a powerful statement.
In July 2017, she started a pilot program to hire people with intellectual disabilities.
She currently has three employees.
With the help of the Enrichment Center in Winston-Salem, Murdoch is getting the chance to have a greater sense of independence through developing life skills.
“I didn’t want to be at my house all day,” Murdoch said.
Dulaney wants to turn the pilot program into a nonprofit that serves as a pre-employment readiness option.
Her hope is that the nonprofit will also become a model for other businesses to follow.
Dulaney has launched a capital campaign to help fund the process of earning a 501(c)(3) status and to operate the bakery in a commercial kitchen.
Bespoke Confections supplies baked good to Coffee Park in Winston-Salem.