With three different camera lenses aimed at him, Jeremy Augst carefully wrapped the green tape around a weigh bar, taking his time to perform the task with near perfection.
Augst is one of 12 MRCI clients who spends time each week working at Avery Weigh Tronix in Fairmont. Their tasks vary. Sometimes they do data entry. Other days they work in shipping and receiving. One group of clients arrives in the morning. Another group works afternoons.
On this Tuesday morning, it was just Augst and Alan Lutterman. The two were serving as representatives for their MRCI colleagues, joining MRCI leadership to publicly thank Weigh Tronix for its dedication to creating opportunity for people with disabilities or disadvantages in the Fairmont area.
Jeremy Augst, an MRCI client, tapes a weigh bar at Avery Weigh Tronix in Fairmont, where he works several days a week. MRCI publicly thanked the company on Tuesday for breaking down barriers for people of all abilities.
Moni Harper, branch manager at MRCI Fairmont, presented a plaque that reads: "MRCI WorkSource is proud to recognize Avery Weigh Tronix for opening doors of opportunity, and breaking down barriers for people of all abilities. Lives have been empowered through employment opportunities here." The document is signed by MRCI WorkSource CEO Brian Benshoof.
MRCI also provided cookies and fruit for all the employees at Weigh Tronix, a manufacturer of industrial scales and weighing equipment.
"It's the first time ever we've opted to do a reward like this," Harper said.
The working relationship between Weigh Tronix and MRCI dates back many years, and over those years, MRCI management has noticed a pattern of positive feedback.
"All of your employees are fabulous working with our clients," said Nicole Schwidder, MRCI's community placement specialist, who oversees the company's work program.
Harper agreed, noting the workforce at Weigh Tronix has provided excellent role models for professionalism, and the company's attitude has made the MRCI clients feel like they're part of a team.
"You've made it inclusive here. They're not in a separate room, cordoned off," said Ted Ornas, MRCI's Southern Minnesota business development manager.
"I cannot thank you enough," said Harper, shaking hands with Darrel Drevlow, senior manager for Weigh Tronix U.S. operations.