I learned a few things during a visit last week to Capitol Projects.
What I learned, from the example of the employees, was the value of adaptability, teamwork and attitude.
The occasion was the first of two consecutive Days of Caring sponsored by the United Way of Central Missouri. The event provides an opportunity for volunteers from area businesses not only to observe, but to work with United Way partner agencies.
Capitol Projects, one of those partners, provides "meaningful employment for developmentally disabled people in the community who otherwise would not have a chance to contribute," according to Tammi Bock, director.
The relationship between Capitol Projects and its workers is reciprocal. The agency provides "meaningful employment" and the workers give meaning to the concept of working together toward a common goal.
• Adaptability. Capitol Projects subcontracts with local business to perform a variety of tasks. On the day of my visit, the workload included: repackaging and boxing books for Scholastic and labeling them for shipment; inspecting and testing plastic bottles for Alpla; and mounting ceramic ferrules on metal studs for ABB transformers.
Each subcontract might mean a new task, which requires workers to adapt to new instructions and perform a different type of job.
• Teamwork. Much of the contracted work can be performed most efficiently by using an assembly line. For example, three separate Scholastic books must be stacked together before they can be shrink-wrapped as a single unit, then boxed, then labeled.
On an assembly line, co-workers depend on each other for efficient, precise work.
• Attitude. The employees I met at Capitol Projects approach their work with care, commitment and enthusiasm. They appreciate that the quality of their work will influence the agency's ability to retain contracts and secure new ones.
An indicator of job satisfaction is longevity, and it is not uncommon to find Capitol Projects' employees with tenures of 20 years, 30 years and more.
To Herbie and Phyllis, Jake and Trudi, and all the employees at Capitol Projects, keep up the good work.
We all can learn from your exemplary work ethic.