“To feel valued, to know, even if only once in a while, that you can do a job well is an absolutely marvelous feeling.” — Barbara Walters
Precise measurements. Countless orders that need sorting and fulfilling. The volume of medicinal botanicals ready to be packaged and shipped. Some employees avoid these rooms entirely. But to Danielle Estep and MinChang Kim, who work as Production Specialist with at Etha™, mastering the production of Etha™ botanicals is more than a job. Within the production areas of Etha™, Danielle and MinChang enjoy learning new skills and the thrill of being a contributing member of society - and a taxpayer. They take pride in their work and rank among the best employees, a true “win-win” situation for everyone. The same could be true of countless others. Danielle admits that it was no easy feat to land and keep her role at Etha™ despite a developmental disability.
By one study, 70 percent of the estimated 90,000 Californians of working age with a developmental disability, such as autism, Down’s Syndrome or cerebral palsy, are unemployed. “Developmental” is a very broad label, however, and does not particularly indicate the level of ability that an individual may have. Most differently-abled adults have the skills to be gainfully employed. Manufacturers that produce products in the USA can provide such opportunities.
Danielle was first introduced to the Etha™ team through their other business, Utomic®. Utomic® was working with the non-profit, Partnership with Industry (PWI), offering work for those folks in their contract services group. Danielle was part of that group. She recalls the day Utomic® was at PWI asking for volunteers who would be interested in producing their most popular product, Utomic® EDGE Protectors. The job was very difficult as it required fine motor skills and precision. According to Danielle, the opportunity paid better than any other PWI role, so Danielle jumped on the opportunity. She started off folding packaging and broke the record for the number of packages completed in an hour. Soon she was promoted to producing EDGE protectors.
When the Utomic® founders opened a new natural medicine business, Danielle once again volunteered herself to join the team. Based on her stellar performance with Utomic, Danielle was hired as an employee at Etha™. Danielle’s interest in science and health and her willingness to learn new things brought her to Etha™. Danielle has been with Utomic® and Etha™ for years now and plans on staying much longer. Asked why Etha™, Danielle responded, “I love the energy, the people, and forming new relationships. I love that we are a family.”
MinChang is a new hire to the Etha™ team. MinChang came to Etha™ through PWI as well. MinChang won over the Etha team with his enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude. MinChang is always the first to ask if you need help and never backs down from a challenge. He is the first to start his shift and does his best to stay busy. When asked why he is always smiling, MinChang says “I love my job. I love Etha. It is awesome!”
The founders of Etha™ have always been passionate about helping those who live with a disability. They have been working with PWI to help find developmentally disabled folks work for years. If you are an employer who needs loyal, eager, productive people, please consider employing people with developmental disabilities. If you need assistance, there are wonderful non-profits that can help like Partnership with Industry. There are many disabled adults who eagerly await an employment opportunity. Please give them a chance. You will be happy you did.
If you are not an employer and want to help, every purchase from Etha™ goes to supporting the developmentally disabled community.
If you need assistance or have questions, please reach out firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.