I have worked closely with Thumb Industries since I came to Huron County in 1988 to teach students with cognitive impairments and throughout my career as Transition Specialist for the Huron Intermediate School District. The staff of Thumb Industries provided me with information that I needed to help perpare my students to have the skills needed to be placed in competive employment in our community. Having a job is extremely important but is more than just getting a paycheck it is also the feeling of contributing to our community. As the ecomomy has changed, Thumb Indrusties has adjusted and developed innovative new ways to give our consumers those same opportunities to work and feel good about themselves. I currently sit on the board of directors at Thumb Industries.
I am working on a collaborative committee with Thumb Industries Staff to put on a Consumer Christmas Party for the people we support. This has been a very rewarding project. The Thumb Industries staff as creative and resourceful. We were able to successfully work together to put together an outstanding event.
The Laker School District was funded, by State Farm, to create a youth driven County Wide paper recycling program. Paper recycling has been done all over the world but in this case the waste has been turned into a useable energy source- paper pellet fuel. Once the project was designed, funded and the equipment purchased it was a natural fit to have the labor supplied by Thumb Industries staff and clients. Thumb Industries was supplied with collection trailers, shredders, and pellet mills to create the final pellet product. They have gone above and beyond the Grant expectations and have created the collection services and routes to manage the paper waste stream, developed the formulas and processes to create the pellets and are now working on marketing the product. Very few nonprofits that supply like services as Thumb Industires have gone to the extent of filling a need to the public, created dozens of jobs for thier clients, and are as "Green" as Thumb Industries.
My experience with Thumb Industries staff has been excellent. I am another non-profit company who was looking for guidance in supported employment and I was so impressed with how Thumb Ind. is run I wanted to model my program after it. I was taken on a tour and the programs explained. What a great place to work. I have been up there several more times bringing other people to see the program and they have always been as impressed as I. Rhonda has been very patient in answering and re-answering our questions and her staff are always welcoming and helpful.