Patrick Young started his job at Tailored Label Products when he was 16 years old and still in high school 9 years ago. He works as a Finishing Assistant and is considered to be the star of his production unit. He assembles boxes for shipping out the company’s product, and can work about twice as fast as the average box assembler, making around 100 an hour. If he takes a vacation, say his co-workers, the place is a mess when he gets back. “He scolds us about our work style,” says co-worker Nan. Company owner Todd and all his co-workers agree that no one has matched Patrick’s assembly record. Todd says Patrick’s unit is more productive when he is working, and that hiring Patrick has been a good business move. Todd describes Patrick as “an absolute spirit and just very, very cool.” “It would be a huge loss if he ever moves on. We’d understand, but he’s been a mainstay, increased productivity, and has been an absolutely perfect fit for our company.” Patrick also works in other areas of the company when they are short-staffed, including marketing and label packaging. He gets regular raises, and he shares in the frequent perks that the company provides, such as gift cards to local businesses and other prizes for high productivity.
When asked about benefits to TLP of employing Patrick, his supervisor Mike Erwin responded that “Employing Patrick provides an opportunity for our employees to mentor a young talent…in a unique way. It sends a good message across the organization and to clients when they visit that we are a caring team. It establishes pride in the workplace…and supports our BEST WORKPLACES vision. It creates a new channel for the development of talent to fill production voids and it provides an element of fun in a demanding and very competitive work environment.”
Patrick first met Todd at a church youth retreat. Patrick’s positive attitude and strong work ethic convinced Todd to offer him a job. Even though Patrick was just entering his sophomore year of high school, he and his dad Brian went to TLP to meet with the president and CEO, Mike; he then filled out an application and had an interview.
Once he had landed the job, Patrick came in several times with a DVR counselor to determine what kinds of work at the factory best suited Patrick’s skills. All employees are required to undergo OSHA training. “That’s the great thing about this company—they really took ownership,” says Patrick’s dad, Brian. “They made sure he went through OSHA training and had a supervisor train him, but they also adapted some of it. They showed him the jobs instead of just having him read the manual.” The support Patrick continues to receive on the job is a wonderful example of the power of natural supports.
Patrick also works in other areas of the company when they are short-staffed, including marketing and label packaging. He gets regular raises, and he shares in the frequent perks that the company provides, such as gift cards to local businesses and other prizes for high productivity.
“I love what I do, and I want to stay at my job,” Patrick says. “But I also want to do even more.” “My biggest goal is to be an advocate for people with special needs,” he says. “I love public speaking and doing presentations.” Outside of work Patrick has been active in several youth advisory groups and has completed youth leadership training programs. He is an active member of People First Wisconsin and a Board member of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD).