Employer Makes Bold Gamble On Inclusion

COHASSET, Minn. — The morning sky was still dark when a bus carrying two dozen adults with disabilities pulled up before a small factory. Many of the passengers looked half asleep as they stumbled into the hazy drizzle clutching lunch sacks and mini-coolers.

But that did not prevent John Week, a container of coffee steaming in his hand, from darting from one person to the next, pumping fists and shouting words of support. “Hey grumpy bear! How ya doin’?” he said, embracing a man in a wheelchair. Moments later, the workers were wide-awake and laughing as Week led them through a round of stretching exercises. “Let’s roll!” he yelled, as workers rushed to the factory floor.

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