AtWork! is proud to honor Genie as our Supporter of the Year in 2013. Genie is a brand of Terex Arial Work Platforms, a diversified global manufacturer of a broad range of equipment that is focused on delivering reliable, customer-driven solutions for many applications, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utility and manufacturing industries. Genie manufactures products such as man-lifts, stick booms, articulated booms, light towers, and telehandlers, all in the distinctive “Genie blue.”
In 2007, Genie Associate Product Manager Mike Northcott joined AtWork!’s Board of Directors. As AtWork! grew in its confidence and skill in placing clients with a diverse range of companies, Mike began to see how there might be a place for an AtWork! client at Genie. He approached his team, and they agreed that it was an interesting idea, and fit with Genie’s overall commitment to diversity, but due to the economic downturn the time was not right to add more staff.
In 2012, the time was right. Mike arranged a meeting between Lisa Latchford, AtWork!’s Director of Employment Services; Kevin Crowder, a Production Manager at Genie, Bryan Ross from Genie’s HR department, and Ron Davids, an AtWork! Employment Consultant. They agreed that, for the right client, a spot on Genie’s production line would be a dream job: good pay, full time work, benefits, vacation – the American dream.
In September, AtWork! found Mark. He was hired by Genie, and went through their Foundations training course, a detailed precision-teaching course designed to provide hand-on training for all new factory employees. Mark excelled at the consistency required for the precise manufacturing work, and at his 180 day review he became a full time Genie staff member. “Mark is amazing,” said Robert Halverson, his original manager. “He’s so consistent, all the line supervisors want him working for them.”
Three months later, Genie decided they were ready for another AtWork! hire, and AtWork! offered Jode, an individual who came to AtWork! from the OLS Venture program at Bellevue College. Jode just completed his first 90 days, and is also going strong. “Everyone likes Jode,” says his supervisor Casey Potts.
The partnership between AtWork! and Genie is unique in that the match between employer and employees has worked based more on the strength of Genie’s precision training processes than on the job customization that AtWork! usually does. Both Mark and Jode do the exact same job as the other people in their positions, and both have integrated so well into Genie’s team that many of their coworkers don’t even know they have disabilities. Mark and Jode see their jobs at Genie as the beginnings of a long term career, and so do their supervisors.
And Genie? They’re ready for number three. According to HR Manager Michele Gillis, “We love it! I could easily see us doubling or even tripling the number of [AtWork! clients] we work with.”