3M Fall Protection, a 22-year partner with ProAct in Red Wing, was named an Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR).

Joyann Johnson

“You bring out the best, the highest potential in all of our people, and we applaud that, so thank you,” said ProAct Coordinator

Janice Neitzel

Joyann Johnson.

3M Plant Manager Janice Neitzel said the company values inclusion, and partners with ProAct each day to build products that deliver on the company’s brand promise. “When I’m walking through the factory and I see ProAct employees, it reminds me that we’re helping to grow and develop skills that you use in this factory, but that you use even outside of our four walls, in life, every day.”

The award was presented by MOHR Treasurer Steven Ditschler, who also serves as CEO of ProAct.

3M Focus Factory Leader Dustin Rassier said ProAct crews provide top notch work. “We are sending out product that ultimately has somebody’s life in the balance, so we depend on quality products going out the door,” said Rassier. “They fit right in with our culture.” 3M Fall Protection manufactures DBI-SALA® products.

Rassier said ProAct keeps up well with 3M work needs, including big projects. Job coaches can bring more people on work crews depending on specific needs for the day. The flexibility works well, said Rassier, as about 40 percent of what the facility ships each day has been ordered within the last 24 hours.

“The higher management at 3M make a point of giving direct positive feedback on a regular basis,” said Johnson. 3M Fall Protection and ProAct have had a business relationship for more than 20 years, through multiple owners. A typical ProAct crew at 3M involves three or four job coaches and 14 or more individuals with disabilities.

Johnson said there are expectations to complete orders on time and with excellent quality. The business also continues to expand ProAct’s involvement by adding more jobs to the crew’s list of responsibilities, she explained.

For more than 75 years, at-height workers around the world have trusted DBI-SALA® products to help them get the job done well and to get home safely, according to the 3M Fall Protection website. The company stresses safety and comfort, as well as a proud tradition of delivering premium quality.

“From a community standpoint, it’s great to be able to give people with disabilities a chance to gain employment . . . to give them more purpose in life,” Rassier said.

MOHR’s mission is advocate and support its nonprofit members in providing meaningful services to persons with disabilities and communities served.  Members are committed to respect for each individual, a person-centered approach and expanding work opportunities.

Celebrated every October, this year’s theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”  It celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.  The national observance began under a different name in 1945.

“Employers who hire individuals with disabilities and work crews are important partners in our efforts to provide person-centered services that improve people’s lives in Minnesota,” said Julie Johnson, president of MOHR.  The organization represents more than 100 disability service providers across the state.