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Developmentally Challenged.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DBM, Mar 18, 2001.

  1. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I just caught the tail end of an news bit that showed a company here in Vancouver has hired a group of developmentally challenged people to do their cutting and trimming.
    I think it's great that they're getting a chance to work and my experience is you won't get a more loyal employee than someone who's developmentally challenged.

    What do you think?
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Not trying to be funny here but.............I hope they don't become physically challenged as a result of using equipment they are not able to handle. I believe there are some tax breaks in the U.S. or some sort of benefit if you hire this type of worker. This is a go fast business, it takes all I can do to keep up with what I have. I don't think it would be feasible for me to hire someone that is handicapped to get a break of some sort because I would lose business in the process. I know there is a place in our society for the handicapped but I think it would be in a more repetitive environment. They would be loyal employees and assembly line work would fit them better.

    Just my opinion.
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,641

    I agree with Homer. I have already had some of those developmently challenged employees LOL. I think thats all theres left out there in todays economy
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I agree. Atleast with THIS aspect of the business. After all, we are working with some rather high powered- power equipment here. If you are into full service, there ARE a number of things that COULD be done, such as flower care and such. It has to be tasks that are pleasing and rewarding to do- not just grunt work. All in all, it's a great concept though.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    This is odd that this was brought up now. Just ran across this situation last week.

    We went to do an estimate for an older lady last week. When Matt told her the price, $42.40 per cut, she said that the last people only charged her $22.00. She said that it was a lady with two ******** kids that did the work. (I do not like the word ********, I'm just saying what she said.)
    She said the lady did all the hard work, while the kids did the easier stuff. She said she felt bad for them, and gave them $25.00 instead. But she said they are longer cutting grass this season.

    We didn't think the lady would sign on with us after she had been spoiled paying $25.00, but surprising she gave us a call a few days later and took us on.

    My .02 in this matter is that challenged people should not be doing this type of work. Not only for their own protection, but also for the homeowners protection. Operating equipment should not be taken lightly.
    Only scenerio I can see is if maybe they were picking up branches, sticks, weeding flower beds etc.

  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    From last year: Using special workers

    Also, the Tombstone Pizza factory has used almost exclusively mentally and physically handicapped workers. Historically they have found turnover with this employee base was around 5%, compared to 35% in similar workplaces.

    [Edited by GroundKprs on 03-18-2001 at 03:29 PM]
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    A agree that this work isn't on the top of my list for this type of worker. We went to Missouri a couple of weeks ago, (did you all miss me)? :) Anyway on the way back we had stopped at a nice resturant and we had eaten a nice brunch in Mo. and when we got almost home, we decided to have a Wendy's. We hadn't had a Wendy's for a long time, not our idea of eating out, but they had several developementally challenged workers there. The service was good and the food was as good or better than the other Wendy's I have eaten at. Maybe I was just HUNGRY. :)

    I've also notice that the grocery stores around us are hiring them too. I think it is a great thing myself, but I still don't think a lawn service is the place to employ them.
  8. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Eric, I agree. I don't think I'd want mentally handicapped people working with dangerous equipment, the person only has to make one mistake and end up losing fingers. I've hired 4 people in another line of business that were mentally challenged. I have to say the one fellow was probably the best employees I've ever had. He took pride in his work and was ecstatic just to be there. If you have simple, safe work, then I think at times a mentally handicapped person may be just the ticket.
  9. jason2

    jason2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    I had an uncle who was mentally ********, he worked at a McDonalds. He took great pride in working there. I believe it made him feel like he was needed, part of a team. Whenever I saw him, which wasn't often since he lived a few states away, he would show me his money. :) Wasn't much but to him it was a fortune.

    I believe he did simple tasks like cleaning. Also he said he made salads. He died a couple of years ago, but getting the chance to work and make his own money made him very happy.

    I agree with the others I would not want a mentally challenged person working around equipment. My uncle loved the farm, when he came home for vacation he would come with us to work.

    One time in particular he had been riding in one of the combines. He decided to take a nap, so he was dropped off at one of the pickups. Well he decided he wanted to drive, and ended up backing a pickup across a 160 acre field and hitting another pickup. :) Told us he didn't know what happened. Another time we were unloading some grain and were about 100 yards from the truck talking. Someone noticed my uncle wasn't around. Look over and he's helping feed the grain into the auger with his bare hands. He was very lucky that time. :)

    I think that the level of mental impairment would play a role in hiring someone to work with equipment. My uncle had Down syndrome and an IQ equivalent to a 3rd grader.

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I think you have to look at how challenged each person is. I don't think you can put them all in one basket so to speak, just like when you hire other folks, sometimes you get a good one and most times you don't lol!

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