MILFORD, Del.- Employing and empowering people with disabilities - that's what a Milford company has been doing for more than half a century.
On Tuesday, Kent-Sussex Industries let the community come in to check out what their employs do. KSI worked with 36 different companies last year on a number of different projects. And it owns a printer cartridge business.
Phyllis Rogers has been with KSI for about ten months.
"I'm putting together the six-pack boxes for the bottles we do," she said.
It takes her about two minutes for each one.
"'I'm putting the measuring cup and spoon together, so I could put it in the bag," said Andrea Mason. "Then I put it over here in the box."
Mason and Rogers are two of more than 150 people working here right now. KSI CEO Craig Crouch says the work provides real benefit to the company's that contract his company.
"You don't do work for Procter & Gamble for almost 40 years and not help them to be competitive in the market place. The same with Kraft Foods. We save Kraft Foods about $13,000 a day by the activities we perform for them."
He adds the work provides real benefit to employees.
"I get a paying job," Mason said.
"We've really proven," Crouch said. "That people with disabilities with the proper support and training can be productive employees and contribute to their communities. Last year our folks earned about $1.3 million in wages."
He says the goal is to get people, like Mason and Rogers, to as independent a level as possible and hopefully, eventually out into the community at large.
"I like working here. I like the people," said Rogers. "I am learning a lot. It will help me down the road."
Crouch says KSI gets 93-percent of its funding through its contracted work, and the other seven-percent comes from donations.
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