Step inside the LifePath Laundry and you’ll see a number of coworkers of various ages, seated at tables, chatting as they wait for the next load to come in. A glance at their shirts reveals their favorite NFL team, professional wrestler, or vacation spot. It’s a friendly, casual scene. But as soon as the back door opens, and the big blue trolley rolls down the ramp, the action begins. In an impressive display of teamwork, they don protective clothing and begin to sort, load the washers, transfer what’s in the washers to the dryers and begin to fold the clean laundry. For some of them, this is a stepping stone to a job elsewhere in the community. For others, who are happy to tell you how nice their coworkers are, how much they all respect the boss and each other, it’s their career, and they’d be happy to stay here forever.
The LifePath Laundry offers full-time employment for adults with developmental disabilities, while providing quality laundry services to local businesses and community organizations. During the initial 30-day trial period, employees learn everything about the business from how to treat stains to proper machine settings and formulas that differentiate towels from mattress pads. They also learn work ethics, the value of being on time, respect for coworkers, and how critical teamwork is to this task. They are evaluated every six months and earn pay raises and advancement for efficiency.
The Laundry staff had to be cut in half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and like so many others, we’re trying to maintain business through this work-force shortage. Employees miss the coworkers who had to remain at home, and we’re sure they miss the comaraderie and social benefits this job provides. We’re anxious for them to come back.