GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - When Curative Connections holds its 70th annual recognition banquet Monday night, McDonald Companies will receive its Community Partner of the Year Award because of what takes place in this warehouse on Bay Beach Road.
"Really they're taking a big leadership step here for the rest of the community to show what's possible, to show other employers that, hey, people with disabilities can make wonderful employees, they can be a wonderful addition to your workforce," Curative Connections president/CEO Steve McCarthy said.
The Green Bay warehousing company is being honored for offering employment to people with disabilities. Curative Connections hopes more local companies follow its example.
Because of privacy laws, we're unable to show the workers in action, but each week, Monday through Friday, four Curative clients work four-hour shifts.
Curative Connections vocation specialist Mary Ellen Murphy is their on-site job coach.
"They get an order form, they find the right building, they count out the number they need, they put it on a cart, they band it, they label it and then it gets shipped off," Murphy said.
Murphy says the clients are beyond grateful for their job.
"A lot of people you hear will complain about work and, 'Oh, I don't want to go, I wish I didn't have to,' but our clients really are thankful for the choice to work, and that shows in their work ethic," she said.
For McDonald Companies, the Curative employees provide both inspiration and strategic benefit.
McDonald Companies warehouse manager Steve Martineau said, "They come in, they're happy, asking how your day is. It's great because the interaction with them, and to have that on a Monday morning, that makes everything great."
"The workforce is currently at an all-time unemployment low, correct, so being able to look for people to come in and help you, give you a strategic advantage in your business and marketplace, I would absolutely encourage them to do that," McDonald Companies vice president Chip McDonald said.
Curative Connections serves more than 2,300 clients in Northeast Wisconsin with cognitive and physical disabilities.