Promoting the integration of people with special needs at the workplace
As we continue to promote the professional integration of people with special needs at our workplace, our Chalon facility recently celebrated the first anniversary of a production line being entirely managed by people suffering from mild intellectual or psychological disabilities.
At IP we are committed to foster an inclusive culture and have a workforce that reflects the diversity of society. The team at Chalon has been collaborating with local ESATs (Establishment and Service of Assistance through Work) for several years now. ESATs accompany people with physical or mental disabilities in their social and professional integration, and companies such as IP play an important role in this program, offering work for these individuals.
Initially, the positions offered at Chalon consisted mainly of quality control and simple manual work. Building on the success of this collaboration, one year ago the Chalon team decided to entrust a full production line to the management of an ESAT team. The group of six workers, accompanied by a specialized supervisor, are responsible for operating a line for the automatic placement of corrugated cardboard bottle separators inside packaging boxes.
Thanks to adapted training and daily contact, they have gradually enhanced their skills and can now work independently in a technical environment.
At the occasion of European Disability Employment Week in November (November 14-20, 2022), Marc Garnier, Plant General Manager at Chalon, said the first year of this new collaboration has been a success. "The ESAT team has been integrating extremely well into our wider plant team, and the experience is very positive for everyone involved," he said. “We strongly believe that our industry can offer a suitable work environment for all kinds of people, and we are glad to have the opportunity to provide work for people with disabilities to help them integrate and grow, as well as to promote their long-term employment."
Isabelle, supervisor of the ESAT team at Chalon said: "We are very proud of the development of the people we support within IP. Thanks to adapted training and daily contact, they have gradually enhanced their skills and can now work independently in a technical environment. The team spirit is strong here and these workers feel fully integrated into the life at the plant."