A manufacturer employing people with disabilities in Schoharie County is getting a big boost. Several agencies are partnering with Toe Path Industries to help the work center become more competitive.
At Toe Path Industries, employees like Gail Chase do it all.
“I’m just as good as any other person. I might be slower in different things,” said Chase.
The work center inside the Schoharie ARC employs about 50 people, most with some form of a disability. Staff packages batteries and sort recyclables. They also manufacture things like floor-cleaning pads and decals for state police cruisers.
For years, profitability was a secondary concern.
“If we don’t figure out a way to make it self-sustaining and make it a profitable enterprise, we can’t survive,” said Lauren Milavec, director of New Pathways Employment Services at the Schoharie ARC.
FuzeHub, a not-for-profit helping New York manufacturers, sees no reason why Toe Path can’t be more competitive.
“The whole goal here is to help Toe Path to profitability and help them find new markets,” said Everton Henriques, NY MEP solutions director for FuzeHub.
FuzeHub is helping Toe Path become sustainable. For staff, growth represents long-term job security.
“I don’t know, I just feel better being here than anywhere else,” said Chase.
It’s a chance to welcome others into a community determined to prove through their work they’re capable of anything.