GREG LOWER

A partnership between a Humboldt manufacturer and Tri-Valley Developmental Services is providing work for disabled Neosho County residents.

B&W Trailer Hitches of Humboldt has a long association with Tri-Valley, executive director Tim Cunningham said, and over the past year has entered three contracts with the agency for assembly and other work. The contracts provide employment for 20 agency clients, of whom about 12 are on shift at any one time.

“We also have our other businesses going on as well,” Cunningham said.

He said he does not know how much the contracts are monetarily, but he said B&W is the agency’s biggest contributor from the four-county area. Besides the contracts, the company has a table at Tri-Valley’s gala, attends the donor golf tournament and donates annually. The company also uses Tri-Valley’s paper shredding service.

Cunningham said the Works family, who own B&W, is very spiritual and dislikes publicity.

“They’re absolutely fantastic people,” he said. He said during an economic slowdown, the company continued to pay employees while having them do community service projects.

“They could have been laying people off,” he said.

The first contract, started in November, is for hinge assemblies for gates. 

Tri-Valley made jigs to assemble the pieces, and one or two workers assemble 125 to 175 units a day.

They also assemble springs, with groups of clients making 900 to 1,300 per day. They generally do 4,000 per week, and once did that number in a day. That contract began in January.

The most recent contract, started a month ago, is to assemble gift snack bags for B&W’s customers. Tri-Valley puts together about 3,000 gift bags a week.

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