Highline Corporation holds tour
July 27, 2019
By BRYAN HELLIOS
Hurley - The Highline Corporation held an open house of its production facility on Friday while staff conducted tours of the building's 20,000 square foot factory which also doubles as a community rehabilitation program center.
Donna Reinerio, CEO of Highline, said the corporation started in 1966 by local businessmen who foresaw a need in the area for a vocational rehabilitation training center.
"They knew their was a need for people with disabilities, as well as the mines that were closing and injured miners that were coming out and saying, 'What am I going to do next,'" she said.
Highline Corporation offers programs which provide employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities.
Brad Schulze, a manufacturing supervisor, trains the company's clients to produce items ranging from cribbage boards to pool table shims which are shipped globally.
"To be able to offer the quality that they are producing to customers out in the field is amazing," he said.
The work clients create is custom-made, he added, and orders have even been purchased by Belgium's prime minister.
Schulze said every person puts 100% of their effort and takes pride in their work.
"You see that pride," he said. "I think thats probably the biggest thing that makes me enjoy this."
Overcoming obstacles and challenges is part of the training program and clients are allowed to refuse any assignment, he said, adding "Not once in 12 years have I ever had anyone say, 'I don't want to do that (job).'"
Aaron Hahn, staff member at Highline Corporation, said his job is to provide support to clients and make sure everyone stays safe.
"I basically help facilitate whatever their desires are," he said.
Hahn builds upon client's social skills by playing games and other activities to ward off frustrations.
"This atmosphere here is just infectious in the most positive way," he said adding, "This company is the most outgoing and community integrated that I've ever worked at."
Paul Jahnson, took the tour and said it's "phenomenal" that the staff brings out each person's full potential.
"The people here put out maximum effort," he said.
Leann Jahnson, Paul's wife, said everyone wants to feel needed.
"It does't matter what age you are, or what your ability is," she said. "This is a place that provides that for each individual."
Reinerio began working at Highline 30 years ago and said the company is like a "big" family.
"Every day is a new adventure, every day is a new smile," she said. "It brightens your day."
She said when they first started politicians told her the company would not survive for more than a year.
"It's been 53 years later and we're still going strong," she said.
For more information about the program and Highline's products, visit highlinecorp.org.