Every other Friday is payday at Westco, the fulfillment center for West Music Company. That fact is particularly exciting for three of the company's newest employees, who recently gained their first taste of community employment through Westco.
Paul Harmsen, Buddy Ohrt and Don Gorvin have been employed by Goodwill Industries for several years and remain valuable members of Goodwill employee crews. The men also work at the Goodwill Store, Red Lobster Restaurant, Goodwill's Retail Support Center and at football stadiums following games. As Goodwill employees, their paychecks were issued by Goodwill.
Now, in addition to their Goodwill checks, the men receive paychecks from West Music. Along with earning money, the men gain a sense of pride because they are employed by a well-known, respected and longstanding employer in the community.
Working at Westco, Don Gorvin says he is "doing a good job, working hard, and getting his job done" at Westco. Buddy Ohrt smiles and quietly says, "This is good work." Paul Harmsen, man of few words that day, continued methodically labeling items as he nodded his head in agreement about the work he is completing.
Tasks vary each day for the men. Some days they labeled kazoos-they had 10,000 to label. Other days they labeled recorders. On a recent Friday In October, they labeled mallets and bongo drums. The labeling of the musical instruments supports the company's inventory system. Items that arrive in bulk must be tagged with a UPC code to be recorded in the inventory system at Westco.
Another task is box assembly. Those boxes will be used to ship goods from the fulfillment center in Coralville to locations throughout the world because of sales made via the Web and West Music's catalog sales enterprise. The labeling and the box making saves time for the other Westco employees who fulfill orders from customers.
Joseph Stark is the Goodwill Job Coach who works at the site with the team and helps them get the work done. "The guys have the goal of getting everything labeled that is outlined for them to do that day."
Mike Riley, Director of Catalog Fulfillment at Westco, says that barcoding helps the company be more efficient and accurate in its inventory process. "The Goodwill crew takes care of the labeling task, and other employees do not need to invest time in that process," he said. "I think it is working extremely well. We appreciate the great team that is working here. It helps the company be more efficient," he explains.
Courtesy of Goodwill Industries of Southeast Iowa
For more information about the Goodwill Industries of Southeast Iowa, please visit their website.