Are time-consuming tasks interfering with getting your product out on time? Do you find yourself short of assembly workers for a project or in need of a periodic or occasional organized pool of workers? A solution may be within reach - Reach, Inc., a private, non-profit organization Bozeman, Montana, since 1974.

Through a vocational assistance program for adults with developmental disabilities at Reach, manufacturers can arrange projects that help both them and this special program. The Labor Services Work Center is an important component of the Reach program and programs like it around the state. Other components include residential living services, supported employment out in the community, and transportation services to citizens coping with metal retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, and other developmental and neurological handicaps, as well as those dealing with physical disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

Ties to the manufacturing community are an integral part of the success of the vocational program, according to Deborah Metrick, Contract and Business Development Specialist for Reach. It is through contracted work that the organized pool of 40 workers improves job skills and receives socialization opportunities while preparing for jobs out in the community. Wages they earn also come from contracted work and special projects.

"The inspirational thing about working here is our clients' pride in their work and how much they appreciate the opportunity to work," Metrick said. "You don't always see that in a workforce today."

Ready - Willing - Able

This crew is ready, willing, and able to perform assembly work and production tasks. They have a wide range of abilities, and skilled support staff help create efficient tools and jigs to help workers overcome obstacles and maintain quality in job performance. Several staff members will perform time studies on tasks prior to bidding a job to ensure that piece work is bid accurately and priced competitively, Metrick said.

"Our clients have a large range of abilities, and we offer fast turnaround for our manufacturing projects. Companies like Gibson Guitar in Bozeman and Dynojet Research and Optech USA in Belgrade have been very supportive of the Reach Work Center. And we welcome the opportunity to work with other manufacturers."

Some Examples

As an example, the Reach Work Center crew assembles and seals picnic packets for national park concessionaires, seals and tags small tools, and works to assemble straps and buckles sued on a variety of equipment, A special in-house fund-raising project at Reach is its Brewery Box gift set. These colorful collections of four beverage glasses are assembled at the Reach Workshop and start with construction of the wooden crate, then the insert of shredded paper that protects the glass and colorful tissue paper to set off the brewery logos on each glass. Each crate is then wrapped in clear plastic and marketed in the region, including at Hamilton Stores in Yellowstone National Park. To order gift sets or learn more about Reach, look at Web site To talk with Metrick about a manufacturing project through the Workshop, call Reach, Inc., at 406-587-1271.

Similar Pools of Willing Workers

Similar pools of willing workers are available in other communities across Montana. Visit this Web site for more information Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (VRBS division).

Contact list

Organization -- City -- Phone Number