Road to Recovery

Fargo business breaks the stigma of addiction in the workplace

Road to Recovery

The Solid Start hiring philosophy is providing extra support to new employees who are sometimes deemed un-hirable. A manufacturing plant in Fargo is breaking the stigma when it comes to who they hire

Solid Comfort is hiring your not-so-typical employees. Convicted felons and people coming out of prison and addiction are often overlooked because of their past. But staff at Solid Comfort are breaking the mold and changing lives in the process.

Solid Comfort is known for manufacturing hotel furniture across the states. More recently, they were recognized at Recovery Reinvented because of their “Solid Start” philosophy.

The HR manager at Solid Comfort, Heather Schimke says, “We talk openly about addiction. We talk openly about mental health. Those are not shameful things that we hide in the close.”

Solid Start provides inclusive hiring for those facing roadblocks to gaining employment. This includes those in recovery, formerly incarcerated and those with a criminal background.

“The concept or the philosophy is when we’re hiring folks, we’re gonna look beyond maybe some of the blunders of their past. We’re looking to see where they’re at today and where they can go in the next year,” says Schimke.

Like Clarissa Dahlen, who spent two years in prison and just celebrated one year of employment at Solid Comfort as a quality control technician. Dahlen says, “I can say that in that year’s time that I’ve only called in to work sick one time. I’m here every day on time. I look forward to coming.. It’s not like I wake up in the morning like “Ugh I gotta go to work”. I’m excited. It’s always something new and the people I work with are great. It feels like home.”

This philosphy has helped numerous employees get back on their feet. Dahlman says, “There’s so many more oppportunities that open up for you when you make good choices.”

Solid Comfort is more than just building furniture — it’s also helping to re-build lives.

Solid Comfort even has a peer support specialist on-site to help people in their recovery
and they’ve made it their mission to help other businesses implement the Solid Start philosophy.

They’re sharing their strategy because there are so many success stories of people who’ve been able to buy a house, get their kids back and lead sober lives now.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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