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BLAINE, Minn. — Programs that serve adults with developmental disabilities often fear losing state and federal funding. But despite the concern, some are finding opportunity. One such company is Achieve Services of Blaine which decided to produce a laundry detergent to help drive the economic engine of its organization.
“I like to do boxes,” explained Beau Johnson as he tended to filling bottles of liquid laundry detergent.
Johnson, who is an Achieve participant, said he’s done a variety of things for Achieve Services for the past five years. But his work with the new start-up, Achieve Clean laundry detergent has given him renewed inspiration.
“I like the product a lot and I like the idea, it smells good,” Johnson said.
Achieve Clean LLC, launched their environmentally friendly product just last month, and customers are already lining up.
“Our tag line is: wash with a cause,” said Alex Carlson, who is a business development specialist with Achieve Services.
Carlson helped test the product and bring it to market, which will in turn bring more jobs to adults with disabilities.
“The real mission here is it’s going to raise a lot of income for Achieve Services and for all of our programs for people with developmental disabilities,” Carlson stated.
Their biggest partner and supporter in this new venture has been the Lube-Tech company. At Lube-Tech’s facility in Albertville, Minnesota, they’ve given Achieve the space to operate their production line – free of charge.
“We do a lot of laundry,” said Ronald Nordin, who is the manager of Senior Living and Community Development with Mary T Incorporated. Mary T Inc., was the first commercial buyer of the product. In fact, Mary T, operates several group homes for adults with developmental disabilities. And some of them, who also happen to work for Achieve Services, got their bios featured right on the label.
“We really love the fact that their labels have the pictures of their residents and their workers on it,” said Nordin. “It’s a great personalization.”
Achieve Clean plans to move their production operations to the 7500 block of University Avenue in Fridley. The six-thousand square foot space is currently being remodeled, complete with wheelchair accessible ramps. And they plan to add a second filling station, which will allow them to double the number of bottles of laundry detergent they currently produce.
“When we move there then we anticipate that we’ll have six or seven or even more people working at a time,” Carlson said.
Giving more opportunity to people like Beau, who can say they got in on the ground floor of something big.
“It helped me to change my life,” said Johnson.
Achieve Clean’s new Fridley location should be up and running by the end of April. The laundry detergent can be purchased at Achieve Services, which is in the Anoka County Human Service Center building off 89th Avenue NE in Blaine, or online at achieveclean.org.
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