Business booming at We Can Too

ST.MARYS — We Can Too, a local organization that employs people with disabilities, is celebrating five years of business.

The organization was started by Bill and Karen Blumhorst and Janet and Joe Bidlack in September 2010. The organization started out with a simple product. It customized labels for bottles of water being used at special events or by local business.

“The place blew up with other business coming to us, asking for our help with other tasks,” said Karen Blumhorst. “We do a lot more than just labeling bottles of water now.”

We Can Too is a company filled with smiles and eager to work employees. Sixteen of the 120 employees have worked since it opened five years ago. Their dedication was celebrated for all their hard work.

The employees now work on other jobs from local business like AAP, Conform Automotive, Fuse Connex, Midmark, Mist Distributing, MTO, Parker Hannifin and Vanderhorst Wholesale.

Employees are taught by supervisors how to inspect, wash and package the items they get from the business. Though a lot of times the supervisors are learning from the employees.

“What works for one person doesn’t always work the easiest for another,” said Joe Blumhorst. “They will come up with ways to do something that may be easier for them, and as long as it produces the same end result we let them do it.”

Employees are provided with a bus transportation to and from their homes. There are eight buses and 10 routes in Mercer, Shelby, Auglaize and Allen Counties. Blumhorts and Bidlacks are looking at adding another route in Allen County with more and more people applying to work from there.

We Can Too employees vary in age from early 20 to 60 years old, some of who look to work there till they are able to retire. Employees are not required to work five days a week, some may only work one shift of four hours one two or three days.

“We are one of the first to pay minimum wages to everyone and everyone gets the same wages,” said Karen Blumhorst. ” It’s truly been an eye opener for me to see all our employees, who have various disabilities, be able to do some tasks better than even I can.”

For many of them, We Can Too is family to them. Joe and Karen Blumhorst both agreed that many of their employees have transformed in personality after working there for a couple weeks.

“They just come out of their shell and many of them meet and make friendships that they weren’t able to have before,” said Karen Blumhorst. “We are so proud of all the people who put in hard work. We would not be able to stay open and help so many other businesses with their needs.”

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Samantha Hoelscher | The Lima News Employees at We Can Too box up sensors that will later go into various vehicles after being shipped back to the company. Hoelscher | The Lima News Employees at We Can Too box up sensors that will later go into various vehicles after being shipped back to the company.

By Samantha Hoelscher

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Reach Samantha Hoelscher at 567-242-0362 or on Twitter @Lima_Hoelscher