October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” ADEC works to increase access to the workplace and employment opportunities through its social enterprises, including Gaining Grounds Coffee House, Art by ADEC and ADEC Industries.
ADEC Industries performs packaging and assembly work, but it’s not just about manufacturing. According to manager Bob Reynolds, “The focus is on enriching people’s lives through gainful employment and additional job skills so they can be prepared to be successful.”
The company is a great example of competitive, integrated employment. Employees with disabilities are trained in real world job skills and how to meet the expectations of a manager, such as attendance, conduct and following rules and regulations. “It’s basically people with disabilities that are prepared through us… We take an individual with disabilities, and guide them, train them, job coach them, and lead them so that they can transition successfully to community employment.”
However, ADEC Industries isn’t just a stop on the way to someplace else. “The employees want to be there,” Reynolds said. “They want to work. Employees are dedicated and grateful for their jobs.” As a result, ADEC Industries does not have the attendance issues that other similar manufacturers often struggle with. “The reward is a job well done.”
Like any other business, ADEC Industries was impacted by COVID-19. When the pandemic began, it caused a slowdown in work, with customers cutting orders for a couple of months. This slowdown was only temporary. Recently, ADEC Industries has seen tremendous growth that continues to rise. ADEC Industries has seen 25% growth in production work just in the last two weeks, as well as an increase in product pickup and deliveries.
ADEC Industries is increasingly busy, juggling production schedules for multiple customers. ADEC Industries does work for Homecrest, Dexter Ventline, Triangle Rubber, LaSalle Bristol and many more, everything from assembling fans to stapling user manuals to manufacturing parts for musical instruments.
Handling multiple production schedules from multiple customers is a delicate balancing act. Employees work hard to stay on top of deadlines, often shifting from one project to another to make sure every project is completed on time. ADEC Industries does everything possible to satisfy the needs of its customers. It’s clear that ADEC Industries, and workers with disabilities, can be relied on to get the job done.