Wisconsin based plastics company, Seljan Co. Inc., is utilizing workers who may not be able to get a fair shot. By teaming up with Opportunities Inc., a rehabilitation program in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Seljan Co. Inc. has created employment opportunities for workers with disabilities. In fact, Seljan Co. Inc. was presented with a award for their efforts to help employ citizens with disabilities by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who was the keynote speaker for Opportunities, Inc.’s 50th anniversary celebration.
“The employee turnover among employees with disabilities is only 8 percent,” says Dru Laws, senior vice president of Seljan, Co. Inc.’s plastics division. “At Seljan Co., our employee turnover for those with disabilities is 0 percent. None of them have ever left once we’ve hired them.”
And yet, Laws said, the population of U.S. citizens with disabilities has the highest level of under-employment.
“Eighty-five percent of those with disabilities want to work in the workforce. So you got a great group of people. It’s the best workforce you’ll ever find and there’s tons of them.”
Laws’ son, 11 year old Kaden, has Downs syndrome, so this is a cause that really speaks to him on a personal level.
“I’m trying to do things for people’s kids today what I hope that other people will do for my son 10 years from now,” he said.
The employees hired through Opportunities, Inc. are included in everything an average employee of Seljan, Co. Inc. is involved with, from breaks to employees meetings. They are treated the same as any other employee.
“We’re hiring all these people, making legitimate money, doing legitimate work, and they love it,” Laws said.
Seljan Co. Inc. also works with Opportunities, Inc. in vocational training to help them find employment at other companies. They have a coach they report to to see how there training is going. It truly is inspiring teamwork.
“It’s this golden opportunity that so few people take advantage of, and everybody should be doing it,” says Laws.