Inclusion Factory tailors job opportunities for those with developmental disabilities

Source: Xinhua| 2021-12-03 21:12:24|Editor: huaxia

Aerial photo taken on Oct. 31, 2019 shows a view of the Sino-Germany innovation park in Taicang, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Bo)

SHANGHAI, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Comfortable and bright, the Inclusion Factory with operation partitions clearly arranged and modern equipment set up, is where Yao Shengjie, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, now works.

"I never thought that my son would get a job. Since he was enrolled, he started to have colleagues and friends, greatly improving his cognitive ability and social skills," said Yao's father.

In 2003, Yao Shengjie was diagnosed with infantile autism. After receiving vocational training from a special education school, he came to work for the Inclusion Factory, a Sino-German joint venture based in Suzhou City, east China's Jiangsu Province.

"Yao had some repetitive behaviors when he first came here. We formulated his work schedule. Now he does well in his routine jobs and shows great progress in adapting to temporary changes of his routines," said Wang Dan, Yao's trainer in the factory.

At present, there are 39 other full-time employees with developmental disabilities, providing parts processing services for industries including automobile and electric appliance.

Yao's father was surprised to see the new changes. "He started reaching out to others. When I chatted with customers at my car repair shop, he would introduce himself. The benefits of his job outside the workplace really shocked me," said the father.

One of the factory's founders and general manager of Zollner Electronics (China) Co., Ltd., Erik Breslein recalled that the establishment of the factory originated from a sudden idea during a dinner with his friend, Thilo Koeppe, who once served as the chairman of Taicang Roundtable (TRT). Most TRT members are from German small- and medium-sized enterprises.

In China, there are about 85 million people with disabilities and the group suffers from a low employment rate.

In 2014, the warm-hearted German entrepreneurs decided to learn from their familiar "Lebenshilfe model" in Germany to set up a factory where the handicapped can better integrate into society through employment.

Soon, their creative idea was approved and got support from the local government in China, with many Chinese entrepreneurs reaching out a helping hand.

Employees with Lebenshilfe in Germany also visited China to make use of their broad experience, provide guidance and training courses for the disabled to fit in and teach others to properly get along with and work with those in need.

With growing popularity, the Inclusion Factory is gaining steam for its achievements to society and its high-quality products.

"We all have a good time here and the work we do is also of great value. Some enterprises came to us to place orders. The career is promising and we will have a bright future," said Yao Shengjie.

KEY WORDS: China,Germany,Disabled