Taking the Best and Making it Better – Bridges Employment Services
By Kevin Sopoliga
Production Manager at the IPEX Chesterfield Plant in Michigan
I think that feeling proud to be part of the IPEX by Aliaxis team is integral to our company being the best place to work. And no matter how far we’ve come along, there’s always room to make the best even better.
This was my exact thought after watching a show called ‘Born This Way’, a documentary series about adults with Down syndrome who work hard to achieve goals and overcome obstacles. I was both moved by the show and inspired to contribute in whichever way I could.
After some digging around, I finally came across Bridges Employment Services & Training, a non-profit agency that helps eliminate the barrier between people with disabilities and their communities. They quite literally bridge the gap between their clients and potential employers while promoting dignity, quality of life, and community integration along the way.
Collaborating with this agency seemed like an exciting opportunity for our company to live our values, and in October 2018 we hired our first team member through Bridges. We worked with the agency’s coaches, our new team member and their family to identify an opportunity that suited everyone’s needs. Since then, we have further supported the programme by providing training opportunities for over 20 other individuals and have also hired a second team member through Bridges.
What’s more, since finding and collaborating with Bridges Employment Services & Training, the agency has gone on to win a 2019 Macomb Business Award for their outstanding work and programme. Since then, the Bridges Coordinator of Employment Service has sent me a letter thanking the IPEX Chesterfield team for our support and willingness to help serve their clients and give them the opportunity they deserve for successful employment.
I’m definitely proud to be part of a team that embraces an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to care and would like to think that the best has indeed become a little bit better as a result. I would like to thank Craig Szachta, our Plant General Manager, Harold Ozols, Director of Manufacturing, and the entire IPEX Chesterfield team for their support and engagement in this initiative.
Aliaxis is a global leader in advanced plastic piping systems for building, infrastructure, industrial and agriculture applications. The company provides communities around the world with sustainable innovative solutions for water and energy, leading the industry in a way that anticipates the rapidly evolving needs of its customers and of society. With a global workforce of about 16,000 employees, Aliaxis offers specific solutions that meet our customers’ most demanding needs across the globe. Aliaxis is active through leading local brands and operating in over 45 countries, combining local solutions with global innovation and operational excellence. The company is privately owned, with its global headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
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