A relatively new, compassionate model to help people with disabilities find employment and purpose is for large conglomerates to establish an affiliate that hires people with disabilities as regular employees. Here’s a look at the system in action.
These people are busy at work, washing some 3,000 uniforms and 12,000 towels in a single day. 81% of the roughly 30 employees at this workplace are disabled.
[Soundbite] Kim Mi-yeong(Disabled Employee, Affiliate-type Workplace) : “This is my lifelong workplace. Although I’m washing clothes, I work hard, thinking of them as my family’s clothes.”
Hankook Tire has opened a large bakery, where 12 disabled and 3 non-disabled workers make snacks for fellow workers. As the company’s workers get baked snacks and don’t have to worry about washing their uniforms, the worker satisfaction level among some 6,000 employees has risen dramatically.
[Soundbite] Hwang Su-seon(Supervisor, Hankook Tire) : “There used to be people who only washed their uniforms once a month. I’m thankful that now our clothes are washed for us every two or three days.”
Affiliate-type workplaces for the disabled were launched in 2008. Since they hire disabled people as regular workers, they are dream jobs for people with disabilities. The Ministry of Employment and Labor has decided to increase the number of affiliate-type workplaces for the disabled by the end of the year by inducing more conglomerates to invest in the project.