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Having Real Choice

In the past 34 years at Chinook, we have done some things that worked out really well, and some things that, well, didn’t.  I am thankful for the former, and learned lessons from the latter.  One of the things that I think has really worked out well is structuring Chinook Enterprises as a business that has a social purpose.  For us, “success” means we were successful at meeting our mission “to support full participation in community life for persons with disabilities or other barriers” and make money to put back toward our mission.  By successfully operating our three businesses in a competitive and competent manner, we can employ additional people and help other employers hire more people also.  No funds from our mission related activates are ever used to supplement our businesses; the opposite is true. A track record of high quality, great delivery and customer service has put us in a good position for growth.  Growth means more diversity in people, equipment and products built.

For each of us, the kind of work we do really defines us in many ways. It creates independence, competence and allows for us to have a measure of choice over our circumstances to a large degree.  That is powerful stuff!  Having real choice is what opens the door to our personal development and self esteem.  All of us want to feel valued and needed and good jobs provide that.  Our jobs provide another important feature; our salary and that can open up all sorts of options.  Being part of creating success is exciting and I am excited to be doing what I do to create that success!


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