BOCA RATON, Fla. –
Workers at the Habilitation Center in Boca Raton are producing high-tech electronics and horticulture and winning awards at the same time.
Dominique Mous assembles hundreds of cellphone shields every day.
“I love my job,” she said. “It’s a good job.”
Mous works on the assembly line at the Habilitation Center. She’s one of more than 200 mentally or physically handicapped workers producing electronics and circuit boards for Motorola, Sony and Tyco.
Last year, sales totaled more than $3 million, and the quality of work done there once earned the firm a manufacturer of the year honor.
Executive Director Bill Ferris said his workers pay attention to details.
“They take tremendous pride in the work they’re doing and pay great attention, great detail to quality assurance,” Ferris said.
Just outside the assembly area, Tom Harwood wheels some of the 1 million bedding plants grown there.
“I love being outside,” he said. “I love working with plants because it gives me something to do.”
The center supplies commercial customers and 33 cities, including Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miami Beach and Coral Gables, with flowering plants.
Harwood and the other workers earn about the same as private businesses pay, and also gain a sense of worth.
“(It) makes me feel good inside,” he said while loading plants for delivery.
The center’s goal is to help people like Mous, Harwood and others in the program reach their full potential. In the past 33 years, it has helped men and women from Broward and Palm Beach counties do just that.
Copyright 2011 by Post Newsweek. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.