New business gives adults with special needs an employment opportunity
Behind a bright yellow door in the back alley of Brick’s Pizza in downtown Hudson is the home of a brand new business, called Plantables, that provides employment and a brighter future for adults with special needs.
The numbers of things that make Plantables stand out from the other businesses downtown are abundant. Whether it is the small workspace out of sight from the main road, or the products they make that can be planted and grown into flowers, there is still one thing that makes it stand out the most, and that is the people who they hire.
Plantables owners Jim Schreiber and Karen Klycsek decided it was time to open up a place that could employ adults who are moderately and cognitively disabled because of the dismal unemployment statistics. The staggering rate for the disabled, who are unemployed, according to Schreiber, is around 87 percent, with 81 percent of them not being involved in the workforce at all.
After teaching Special Education at Hudson High School for 12 years, Schreiber is no stranger to kids with special needs and what they are truly capable of. He said that he realized while working at HHS that the kids are very productive and could get the job at hand done.
“There has always been great support towards the kids in the special education program at HHS,” Schreiber said. “Now it’s time to focus on the adults with special needs to.”
So far, Plantables has nine employees ranging from the ages of 24 to 34 years old, and seven core volunteers. The employees and volunteers work side by side to create high quality, seed embedded, greeting cards made out of recycled office paper.
Each card is different because of the variation of the source of paper and the seeds that are being embedded. What is unique about the cards made at Plantables is that they can be planted into the soil and will bloom throughout the summer.
As time goes on, Schreiber and Klycsek will continue to create a work environment that accommodates people of all ability levels and a space that provides life-long learning. The couple hopes to hire more employees as their business grows, but want to keep their work space intimate and to keep their focus on their employees.
The couple welcomes the support of community members toward the expansion of Plantables and being able to employ more people. Donations are greatly appreciated for materials, as well as volunteer work.
Online donations will be available soon on the website, www.plantables.net, but in the meantime you can fill out the contact form on the website if interested in making a donation.
You can find Plantables products at The Purple Tree in downtown Hudson, order them from the online store, or stop by the warehouse in downtown Hudson to purchase them. Custom orders for schools and businesses are also available.
“This is the coolest things we’ve ever done,” Schreiber said. “Plantables has impacted several people’s lives, both the workers and their families. It’s very important for the disabled to have jobs, and no matter what their ability level is, they can contribute somehow.”