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New program to create jobs and benefit small businesses - KOAM TV 7

New program to create jobs and benefit small businesses

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

The Joplin Workshops provides manufacturing and commercial laundry services for some of the area's largest companies. They also employ 100 adults with developmental disabilities. Now, they're looking to start a new service that will not only create more jobs, but help small businesses.

At the Joplin Workshops, they’re getting ready to launch a new recycling program. Although the city just entered a contract for curbside recycling, the workshop manager thinks they'll still be successful.

“Working with the city we're told that an under-served market is small business and so with our recycling project we're going to be targeting small businesses within the city limits of Joplin and so we're going to be offering to pick up their recycled paper, cardboard and types 1, 2 and 4 plastics,” says general manager Susan Adams.

They already have the space and vehicles needed to get the project up and running and will hire 20 more part time employees with disabilities.

“They want to be a part of the community, they have a lot to offer, they want to have pocket money,” says Adams.

On average, employees will stay at the workshop for 18 years, building strong friendships and work ethic.

“I always wanted a job in the laundromat and have good friends, good bosses and everything,” says Theresa McMillian who has been working at the workshop since 1968. Her husband also works there.

“The people and the atmosphere and how they treat each other and how they treat me and stuff is just really positive,” says another employee Waylon White.

And many businesses have already reached out saying that they're committed to using the program once it’s started.

“As a part of our program we like to teach healthy responsible living and contributing to the community and we felt like this would be a great opportunity to teach the girls how to go about that in their lives once they leave us,” says Stephanie Meek with Loving Grace, a transitional home for young women.

In addition to Loving Grace, Blue Moon Boutique, churches, and small offices have also committed to the service.

“It’s a win, win, win. We’ll benefit because we'll be able to provide more jobs and it will increase our revenues. The small businesses will benefit because they're eliminating rash going to the landfills,” says Adams.

They are hoping to launch the program by the end of the month.

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