Mississippi Manufacturers Association
Wells Lamont Industrial and MDRS...
a Partnership That Fits Like a Glove
Wells Lamont Industrial, a leading glove manufacturer located in Philadelphia, MS, has known one of the state’s best kept secrets for more than a decade —a business partnership with the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.
The primary mission of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS) is to help individuals with disabilities gain independence through employment. MDRS has a network of 16 vocational rehabilitation centers —known as AbilityWorks— located throughout the state. These centers provide vocational assessment, job training and work experience for individuals with disabilities.
Companies from all over Mississippi and the United States, including Wells Lamont, contract with MDRS’ AbilityWorks for its cost-efficient, high quality production services and to provide job opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
“We are very proud of the relationship we have with Mississippi manufacturers like Wells Lamont,” said Chris Howard, MDRS Executive Director. “Partnerships like these help put individuals with disabilities in our state to work while offering a competitive advantage to businesses. It’s a win/win for our state and for everyone involved. We don’t want to be the state’s best kept secret any longer.”
“Our experience with AbilityWorks has been a very positive one,” said Charles Phillips, Plant Manager of Wells Lamont Industrial in Philadelphia. “The quality of work has been excellent and promptness of delivery is always very good. We plan to continue to take advantage of this resource.”
MDRS, through AbilityWorks of Kosciusko, has contracted with Wells Lamont since 2005. Work has included the cutting of glove’s palms and thumb crotches and the packaging of the gloves. MDRS clients (individuals with disabilities) use a die cutting machine to cut the leather palms and thumb crotches. The palms are used as liners and the thumb crotches are used for reinforcements in the gloves. Every month, AbilityWorks produces approximately 5,000 each of the leather palms and thumb crotches for a total of around 10,000 pieces. Once cut, the pieces are shipped to Wells Lamont Industrial where the gloves are made. The MDRS AbilityWorks team also puts together buckle and ring parts —used for name badges— for Wells Lamont. Initial assembly is done by hand and finished with a half-ton Arbor press before being shipped to Wells Lamont. About 10,000 buckles and rings are assembled each month.
“The relationship between MDRS/AbilityWorks and the business community is key to the success of our program,” said Jamie Deason, Facility Manager of AbilityWorks Kosciusko. “Wells Lamont’s partnership has provided individuals with disabilities job skills training as well as employment opportunities. We are extremely thankful for the bond which has formed through this endeavor.”
For more information on MDRS and/or how you can potentially utilize the services of AbilityWorks, please contact MDRS at 1-800-443-1000 or visit mdrs.ms.gov.