Thursday, August 14, 2008

A business working outside the box

Continuing a business legacy of more than 20 years in wooden furniture and component manufacturing, a factory in Brunswick is successfully churning out quality products that are finding their place in homes and businesses all around the country. But this is more than just another business making drawer boxes, planters, toy boxes and a wide range of other wooden containers and packaging products: Creative Opportunities is providing much needed employment for up to 80 people with disabilities every week.

The team here excels under high-volume, quality controlled workloads because the best part of the program are the benefits to its workers, a group whose opportunities are often limited not by their own capacity but by the presuppositions of others. It's not just having a job (though this by itself is a boost to self-esteem), but being a part of a team, working and learning together, celebrating achievements, laughing and supporting one another - this is what Creative Opportunities is about.

Recently, the team have successfully demonstrated a capacity to expand operations to include packing and packaging jobs, assembly operations and a number of other high-volume tasks that require a human workforce in a climate of increasing automation and mechanisation. A walk through the factory reveals dozens of quality product lines from shoe boxes to crates and larger wooden packaging, as well as traditional furniture items like bookcases and tallboys - but the best outcomes are satisfied employees...

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