When Damascus Client Rep Brea Muzykoski talks to the Damascus workers that she has placed at Nissen Chemitec, she can expect to hear a couple things consistently: the break room at Nissen is incredible and the company culture is a big part of the reason they can reenter the workplace with success.
"(Nissen) is really tuned into the lives of their workers," Brea said. "They make it easier for the workers to succeed."
Located in London, Ohio--thirty minutes west of Columbus--Nissen Chemitec North America produces high quality plastic injection molded parts for the automotive industry. Interested in expanding their workforce, Nissen began partnering with Damascus in 2020 and has made employment possible for over 100 individuals since that time. Human Resource professionals Peggy Willfong and Mike Buehrer have championed the effort and continue to make permanent employment for those returning home from incarceration a possibility in the region. They treat Damascus employees with the same level of potential and respect as their direct hire employees.
"We care about all our associates," said Mike. "We've been very transparent and there are no preconceived notions with anyone."
Among the workers that have converted to permanent Nissen employees, four of them have entered Nissen's Technical Training Program, where associates can increase their skill base and prepare for a career, not just a job. Among those workers is Ryan Parker, who also appears in the Nissen facebook promotion.
Mike and Peggy reiterated their goal to be an organization that provides both support and a pathway to men and women who work there. They mirror the Damascus mission to meet people where they are and walk alongside, even when things sometimes get sideways.
"We understand there are external forces that cause problems," Mike said. "One-off situations do occur. We know there are things employees cannot control, and we hold them accountable where we should."
That level of commitment creates a partnership where individuals returning from incarceration and into the workforce can learn, advance, work out the bugs and fears, and contribute to their communities and families. As Client Rep Brea Muzykoski knows, it makes all the difference when she is preparing Damascus workers for a job.
"(Nissen) has been great to work with," she said. "Whether it's working with people around personal time or the ebbs and flow of life or the halfway house, Peggy and Mike and the whole environment is very supportive of our workers."
More information about Nissen is available at www.nissenchemitec.com.