Crest Healthcare Named Outstanding Disability Employer by MOHR

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Crest Healthcare named outstanding disability employer
by Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation

Nominated by Adult Training and Habilitation Center (ATHC) in Winsted, Crest Healthcare in Dassel is being named an Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

"People with disabilities are engaged and thriving in jobs across our state and we are very thankful for the employers who extend these opportunities," said Julie Johnson, president of MOHR. "We would encourage more employers to get on board and discover the talent pool they are missing." MOHR represents about 100 disability service providers across the state.

Crest Healthcare utilizes a hand assembly team from ATHC in its work to supply products for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Individuals operate rivet and eyelet machines, drill presses and testing equipment. The company makes nurse call and communication devices, television accessories, remotes, cables, receptacles and other accessories and distributes audio and visual equipment. Crest provides ATHC with a work area and machines, and is accommodating with changing supports, explains ATHC Support Manager Beth Bartholomew.

Direct support professional Kathy Peterson has worked with individuals at Crest for 25 years, and said they appreciate the variety of jobs and friendly atmosphere at the company. It’s a social environment that values inclusion, as ATHC clients join in company events, holiday celebrations and luncheons, explains ATHC Executive Director Tonia Bymers.

The disability service provider offers supervisors, safe transportation and job coaching. Staff do quality inspections and evaluate the individuals they serve to assess their capabilities. There are time studies and goals are set. Work orders have job cards and specifications and ATHC workers are motivated, said Bartholomew.

Crest President Tim Kuck stops to see the crew weekly, check in and offer support. Bymers said staff are always available to answer questions and offer assistance as needed. "Individuals with disabilities are so happy to have a job," said Bartholomew. "They take pride in knowing they are contributing to the organization and making products that help people."

Accurate counts are important, and there are repetitive steps, which the ATHC individuals enjoy. They are placed in positions where they can be the most successful based on their ability, she explains. Individuals build their self-confidence and feel connected to the organization and community. "They like to tell others about where they work and what they do," said Bartholomew. "They are happy to be part of the team." Responsibility and a sense of accomplishment are also apparent.

"With help wanted signs everywhere, more Minnesota employers are discovering that people with disabilities can meet their needs and become part of their workforce," said Johnson. "Every year, we see more people with disabilities entering the workforce as their talents and skills are recognized, valued and put to good use for our economy."
Crest Healthcare promotes the ATHC program during plant tours for vendors, customers and community leaders. "It is always well received," the support manager said.

MOHR Board Member Renee Nolting will present the award at Crest Healthcare, 195 South Third Street in Dassel on October 19 at 10 a.m.

MOHR’s mission is to "Advocate and support its nonprofit members in providing meaningful services to persons with disabilities and communities served." Members are committed to respect for each individual, a person-centered approach and expanding work opportunities.

Celebrated every October, this year’s theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion." It reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact: Aaron Hustedde, for MOHR, 651-452-9800