Freudenberg integrates people with disabilities in everyday working life
“We bring inclusion to life”
Diversity – that includes employing people with disabilities, a practice in which Freudenberg sets a good example. At the Kaiserslautern facility the percentage of disabled people in the workforce comes to about 12 percent, a quota that exceeds the statutory requirement. The company recently won the Rhineland-Palatinate state award for the exemplary integration of the severely disabled. But what does employing a disabled person entail? What is the daily routine? Colleagues from Kaiserslautern explain.
Reinhold Witt, who is enrolled with JobWERK run by Westpfalz-Werkstätten, looks forward to passing through the factory gate at Freudenberg in Kaiserslautern every time he goes to work. JobWERK is a body that promotes the social and occupational integration of people with disabilities. The 27-year-old began working for the Freudenberg Medical in February 2016. “I feel really at home and I appreciate this opportunity,” he says. His job is to pack rings and tubes in cartons and stack them on pallets, to help in the warehouse ? in other words, to lend a hand wherever it is needed. “Reinhold Witt is extremely conscientious and enjoys his work. That is why we employed him as soon as he had finished his internship. Today he is fully integrated and has good relations with his colleagues,” says Beate Knauber, disabled persons? representative in the Freudenberg Group. The workplaces have been adapted to suit the needs of disabled employees.
Reinhold Witt, FM; Sven Rosenbeiger, FM-Director; Lisa Wendel, FM; Beate Knauber
“Integrating people with severe disabilities is something very dear to our hearts,” says Knauber. And it is also part of Freudenberg?s diversity strategy. “We are very aware that our most valuable asset is our employees, with their individual knowledge and skills,” says Sven Rosenbeiger, FM management, in describing the benefits of inclusion. He is convinced that only those employees who can wholly and unreservedly develop their potential at the workplace are able to contribute their very best to the working community. That is why we not only work towards integrating people with disabilities, but also seek to achieve a healthy level of diversity among the workforce. As Witt´s example shows, that is a win-win situation: “Working with Reinhold Witt is enriching for us. For him, work means independence. As a company, we benefit from his commitment and his different take on things,” Rosenbeiger says.